All of this is concerning when you begin to think about how competitors may challenge our air dominance in the future. One tactic may be to swarm our fighters. John Tirpak points out that
"initial squadrons sent to a crisis zone may be outnumbered in the air by a factor of 20. Facing such swarms, and flying against a new generation of advanced, double-digit surface-to-air missiles, Air Force fighters will have to be not merely superior but far superior to prevail in the early days of a future conflict."This would be a challenge American pilots have never fully experienced.
Ultimately, however, if our future enemies attempt to swarm our F/A-22s and JSFs, I think they will meet a harsh end to their own surprise. The sitational awareness (radar, visual detection systems, avionics) of these "fifth generation" fighters are vastly superior to other fighters. These aircraft are super fast and stealthy meaning if they got into real trouble they could disengage and escape. Finally, our pilots are the best in the world. No doubt taking on additional aircraft would be challenging but our pilots would be up to the task. While a swarming threat sounds like something to be scared of, we should not stay awake at night worrying. Our pilots and technology will still be able to dominate the skies.