Precision is one of the watchwords of our modern military forces, and precision coupled with either stealth or distance gives you many benefits. The fact that the Raptor can shoot other jets out of the sky before they know it’s there and the fact that our air-to-air missiles can hit targets before we are in their range adds a great deal to the F-22’s threat profile.
Boeing recently demonstrated Air to Ground capability from a C-130 that is awesome in ability to take out targets without civilian casualties. Wired has the article here.
According to the developers, the accuracy of this weapon is little short of supernatural. They claim that the pinpoint precision can make it lethal or non-lethal at will. For example, they say it can either destroy a vehicle completely, or just damage the tires to immobilize it. The illustration shows a theoretical 26-second engagement in which the beam deftly destroys “32 tires, 11 Antennae, 3 Missile Launchers, 11 EO devices, 4 Mortars, 5 Machine Guns” — while avoiding harming a truckload of refugees and the soldiers guarding them