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Air dominance at stake: USAF pits F-22, F-35 and F-15 against each other

The United States Air Force is set to host the “William Tell” air-to-air contest in September, putting F-22, F-35, and F-15 fighters head-to-head to determine air superiority. The William Tell competition, which returns after a 19-year absence, will take place at the Air Dominance Center in Savannah, Georgia.

The event will assess aircrew performance in air superiority, ωeapons use, and tactics, and also include ωeapons handling, maintenance, and loading skills. General Mark Kelly, commander of the Air Combat Command, expressed excitement for the return of this prestigious competition, which brings together the best of the United States Air Force in simulated air combat scenarios.

The competition began in 1954 as a separate air-to-air rocketry match and has since included various aircraft designed to protect North America, pitting fighters such as the F-102 Delta Dagger, F-106 Delta Dart, and F-101 Voodoo against each other. Canada was the first foreign country to participate in 1965, racing its CF-101 Voodoo. The F-22, F-35, and F-15 Eagle units will represent various wings of Air Combat Command, the Pacific Air Force, and the Air National Guard in this year’s competition, with the goal of encouraging the exchange of tactics and better preparing airmen for combat operations against potential adversaries.

Major Kyle Brown, the competition director, emphasized that air superiority is a constant struggle, and that William Tell 2023 aims to revive the competition’s heritage and challenge its champions. It is not yet confirmed if the competition will resume as a biennial event, but this year, it aims to demonstrate that US Air Force pilots can handle the most difficult air-to-air scenarios in the world. General Kelly reiterated the United States’ commitment to air dominance and the pursuit of innovation and excellence as he participated in the return of the William Tell competition, supporting the Joint Forces and multinational partners.

Overall, the William Tell 2023 competition represents a challenge for United States Air Force pilots to showcase their skills and tackle the most difficult air supremacy scenarios. This event will provide crews with an opportunity to test their knowledge and tactics in a competitive and collaborative environment.

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