Why The F-35 Is Slower Than The F-22

Why The F-35 Is Slower Than The F-22 | Frontline Videos

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Different Roles, Different Characteristics

Even though the F-35 Lightning II came later than the F-22 Raptor doesn’t automatically mean it’s faster. The two fighters fulfill different roles, and their speed requirements reflect those requirements.

F-22s are dedicated air superiority fighters created to engage enemy planes in air-to-air combat. As such, Lockheed gave more importance to its speed and maneuverability, making the Raptor one of the world’s fastest and most maneuverable fighters. 

Photo by Jamal Wilson

In comparison, the F-35 was designed to be a multi-role fighter. Its roles include air-to-ground and air-to-air operations, with its primary mission providing air support for ground troops. As a result, the Lightning II focused more on stealth, advanced avionics, and sensor capabilities.

Darin Russell/U.S.A.F.

But while the F-35 is slower than the F-22, it is still a highly capable aircraft that can perform a broader range of missions.


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