The F-22 is a fantastic aircraft.
It’s a shame they capped production at 187. We really should have built at least 250.
One interesting concept the Air Force is playing around with is ordering about 80 new build F-15Cs before the line is shut down in the next few years. However these will be fully modernized and will have a communications pod that will allow bilateral communication with the F-22 and the F-35.
As it stands now the F-22 (and I believe the F-35) can receive Link-16 data (which is what the current F-15s use) but they cannot transmit Link-16 as it would compromise their location. They use a new data link system that is stealth friendly but our older 4th gen aircraft can’t read it.
So these new communications pods will allow the F-15s to communicate with the F-22 and F-35. As everyone knows the main limitation of the fifth gen aircraft is their lack of ordinance. The F-22 can only carry two sidewinders and six AMRAAMS in their internal bays. The 2040C spec F-15s however will carry quad rack mounts. Basically they can carry four AMRAAMS on each mount for a total of sixteen.
So in a future air war the F-15C can act as a portable missile carrier for the F-22. The F-22, which has a stealthy radar can track the bogeys and then feed the targeting information to the F-15s following behind outside of the bogey’s detection field. One F-22 paired with four F-15s with quad pack munitions would be able to engage two dozen enemy aircraft while still having plenty of missiles in reserve.