Originally Posted by RayManKiller3
The radar only caught the F-117 because they were flying in the same area at the same times everyday. They were ready for it and some people say that it was a blind-shot they did and got lucky. Shooting down the F-117 was so focused on so it can be used for propaganda. Only ONE was shot down, and it made hundreds of sorties... Not enough to make a dent in stealth aircraft reputation if you ask me.
I am under the impression the F-35 would be better at stealth than the F-117 anyways.
Stealth fighters really do have no equal imo. It is the fact it can go through radar coverage and it is hard to lock onto even when it is found. As much as maneuverability is important, I barely hear of anyone dodging a missile. The F-22 is made to have first strike capabilities. To kill the opponent long before it can get into dog-fighting range or at least have them dodging a missile, making them too busy to even try engaging the F-22.
I think too many people have the idea, that they are going to shoot through the radar coverage and go dog-fighting or something. Going behind radar coverage gives them the ability to find SAMs and send some Cruise missiles. The more SAMs you knock out, the less the coverage. That is actually how they did it in Desert Storm 2 invasion. They knocked the SAMs out just moments before sending planes to do air-strikes.
The F-117 has the smallest radar cross-section of any stealth plane, it was designed for stealth at the expense of all other features. Though it's black paint job makes it blindingly obvious at day time while flying at low altitude.
The F-35 and F-22 are much more visible to thermal detectors than the F-117 was, so an Infrared missile could deal with them. Or better yet, a high powered AA missile (far off in the future yes, but still a possibility, but of course by then, we could get the metamaterials ready for military usage, which could provide a good deal of protection against light based weapons.)