USAF pits F-22, F-35 and F-15 for air supremacy

The United States Air Force will hold the “William Tell” air-to-air competition in September, pitting F-22, F-35, and F-15 fighters against each other for air superiority.

Return of the competition William Tell.

The competition will take place at the Air Dominance Center in Savannah, Georgia, after a 19-year absence. William Tell 2023 will assess aircrew performance in air superiority, weapons use, and tactics and will also include weapons handling, maintenance, and loading skills.

General Mark Kelly, commander of the Air Combat Command, expressed his enthusiasm for the return of this prestigious event that 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, since 1961, has included various aircraft designed to protect North America.

USAF pits F-22, F-35 and F-15 for air supremacy

History and Participants 

Throughout its history, the competition has pitted fighters like the F-102 Delta Dagger, F-106 Delta Dart, and F-101 Voodoo. Canada was the first foreign country to participate in 1965, racing its CF-101 Voodoo.

The last William Tell was held in 2004 and has been on hiatus ever since due to the pace of military operations and contingency requirements.

This year, 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.

USAF pits F-22, F-35 and F-15 for air supremacy

Objectives of the resumption of the event

With the resumption of William Tell, it is sought to encourage the exchange of tactics and better prepare airmen for combat operations against possible adversaries. Over the past 19 years, the Air Force has evolved with integrated fighter tactics, fifth-generation aircraft, and close-in threats.

Major Kyle Brown, the competition director, stressed that air superiority is a constant struggle and that William Tell 2023 seeks to resurrect the competition’s heritage and face off against its champions.

Future of competition.

It has not yet been confirmed if the competition will resume as a biennial event, but this year it is intended to highlight that US Air Force pilots can take on the most challenging 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.

USAF pits F-22, F-35 and F-15 for air supremacy

A Challenge for air supremacy

The William Tell 2023 competition represents an opportunity for United States Air Force pilots to showcase their skills and face the toughest challenges in the field of air superiority. This event will allow crews to test their knowledge and tactics in a competitive and collaborative environment.