Realisitically, no, not a single one would be shot down. Unless the F-22 pilots were idiots, the Germans would hardly even see who was shooting at them.
The Germans didn’t really have “thousands” of bombers in the literal sense of the word (e.g. 2 thousand or more.) They had about 1500 available, plus perhaps 1000 fighters of various sorts.
An F-22 can carry at least 8 air-to-air weapons - I’m not sure how many the bays can hold but you could also use the external mounts, since radar signature is not a problem against the advancing Luftwaffe.
If you assume each plane will destroy 3 targets on every sortie - I know that’s less than a 50% success rate but let’s be conservative, and anyway missiles aren’t perfect and you might have two planes shooting at the same target - then 50 Raptors would destroy 150 planes in a single day without even closing to gun range. The entire Luftwaffe force attacking Britain would therefore be gone in about two weeks. Realistically, if they took 150 losses a day they’d have given up in three days anyway.
To be honest, you could probably have won the Battle of Britain with a dozen Raptors. They could be sent up twice a day and so each one could shoot down more than three Germans a day with ease. 36-72 losses per day is a devastating rate of destruction that would have resulted in a much higher Luftwaffe casualty rate than was in fact the case - the Luftwaffe averaged about 25 lost aircraft per flyable day - and after all the casualty rate they DID suffer was just a bit too high to win.
A tengental question: Was it a conscious decision for the USAF to give their aircraft raptor names? Eagle, Falcon, Raptor. Any others? Did someone say, ‘Well, we are the Air Force. Let’s name our aircraft after predatory birds.’? Or is it coincidence? (The Navy had a lot of ‘cats’ – Wildcat, Hellcat, Tigercat, Bearcat, Panther, Tomcat – but they were all from one company.)
Probably the most useful aspect is not the most obvious.
Send your Raptors high up over enemy airspace and use them to report on their flight patterns, shoot down a few of the enemy, but its the employment of their radar systems that would be most useful.
If you can find their location and course early enough, you can send up Hurris and Spits to intercept them in a planned attack, massed, from altitude and from behind. Basicly these would be fly by shootings that leave the Axis no chance to react.
The reality was that most exchanges took place this way and this is how most aircraft were shot down, increase the ability of the British to carry out such attacks and its decisive.
The radar as it existed then was very important, but gaining another 20 minutes or so of warning would have been extremely useful to the British.
I wonder if there wouldn’t be at least a chance that some Raptors wouldn’t be shot down. After all, if you “only” shoot down 3-4 planes per sortie that’s several more that got through and killed several people (on average). So perhaps there would have been political pressure to “push it”, which would have likely let the Raptors nearly totally shut down the Luftwaffe with only around 50 planes, but at a cost of some damage and maybe one or two Raptors down due to a lucky shot.
I’m more interested in the Point of Departure which would result in this state of affairs. I
think more realistically asking what a squadron of Gloster Meteors would do might be more
worthwhile, because we all know it would be a one-sided massacre, and more to the point
if the Germans knew the British had such tech/aircraft they would undoubtedly sue for peace
(well if they were rational which they were not). And yes I like the movie The Final Countdown.
The bigger question is where do you find fuel, ammunition, spare parts, and pilots for a Raptor in 1940? Did Britain even have runways and air bases that could support something like a F-22? Or are we assuming that these Raptors also come with all the logistical support needed for continued combat?
Interesting. I’d say one squadron pf Meteors wouldn’t have done a whole lot tactically, if realistic conditions are assumed.
The Germans had more than a squadron of ME-262s, which didn’t do much, albeit in a very different tactical and strategic situation. The significance of a plane like the Meteor in the Battle of Britain might have had an effect strategically. But that said, I don’t think that effect would have been enough to convince the Luftwaffe to call it off.
From a purely tactical standpoint, even a fast airplane can’t be in two places at once. And a Meteor needed to close to gun range, not shoot air-to-air missles from a distance. The speed advantage of an ME-262 or Meteor was simply that they could choose to engage or disengage combat with a slower adversary at will.
Add to that the fact that an early Gloster Meteor was pretty much in a fuel emergency from the moment of takeoff. So it would have been helpful, but only one squadron still leaves most of the work to the Hurris and Spits.
Forget the F22s and go for a couple of squadrons of F5s. Plenty of speed, air to air missles and cannon, and it can fly from relatively unimproved airfields. They launch missles from above and behind, then tear through the remaining formation with cannon. Too fast to be hit by the 109s, and they can stay in the air for next to forever.
Put enough flak in the air, and eventually your plane is going to run into a golden BB. So with hundreds of enemy planes with machine guns flying around the F-22 pilots would be idiots if they thought they were invulnerable.
Thing is, the F-22 is too advanced. You don’t need the stealth capability. You don’t need the fancy computers. I don’t know if F-22s would do any better against WWII aircraft than F-16s.
The F-22 can carry 8 internal missiles, but you’d want to stick as many missiles on the external hardpoints as possible, you don’t care about ruining your stealth profile. Plus don’t forget the F-22 still has a gun. So your mission would be to load up, take out German planes with your gun until out of ammo, holding the missiles in reserve for if you get in trouble, fire off all missiles, and land and rearm. Of course, that assumes you’ve got a huge reserve of AMRAAMs and sidwinders to rearm with.
I think the other way around would be a sounder strategy. Use the Sidewinders to blow apart the formation by surprise, then bounce them with cannon. That way you can avoid the concentrated fire of the escorting fighters, who might just get a lucky shot in. Scatter them and the chances of that go way down. Plus, the initial missile attack out of nowhere will so rattle tham that they will, in all likelihood, bug out for home immediately.
Can the A-10 Thunderbolt mount air-to-air missiles on all those hardpoints it has? Even without missiles, I’d think it’d be better for this task than an F-22 or even an F-5. Modern fighters are fast enough even going slowly that closing speeds would make effective use of cannons very difficult. An A-10 is extremely maneuverable, lots fast enough to catch anything in the sky in 1940, durable as hell, flies off of crap airfields, and that 30mm gatling gun would instantaneously vaporize Me-110s and the like.
The current Sidewinders - sure. They’ve used them to target helicopters, whhich don’t have much of a heat signature. I don’t think an F111 can fly slow enough to target Me110s and Heinkels, even with the wings spread. Plus, I don’t think it can be configured to carry the requisite weaponry. Nukes, yes. AMRAAMS, no.
Gorsnak, that was my first thought as well. An A-10 can carry a metric buttload of ordinance, but AFAIK, it doesn’t have the wiring to carry air-to-air ordinance.