The dogfight took place off the coast of Penang, Malaysia, Jun. 16, 2014, during “Cope Taufan 2014″ a biennial LFE (large force employment) exercise taking place June 9 to 20 designed to improve U.S. and Malaysian combined readiness.
Both aircraft are currently deployed to Royal Malaysian Air Force P.U. Butterworth, Malaysia.
The exercise, that marks the F-22′s first deployment to Southeast Asia, featured also some interesting mixed formation between U.S. planes with Royal Malaysian Air Force MIG-29N Fulcrum, Su-30 and F-18 Hornet jets.
More than 24 months since the last hypoxia-like incident occurred, the U.S. Air Force has decided to equip its F-22s with a backup oxygen system.
The Raptor fleet will soon receive a brand new backup oxygen system as part of multiple contracts awarded to Lockheed Martin (worth 30 Million USD) DefenseNews reported.
F-22s belonging to the 3rd Wing from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, have already received the new system, that will be implemented by the rest of the radar-evading planes by the second quarter of year 2015.
Being automatic, the new system does not require pilot intervention; a big improvement from the previous one that had to be activated by the pilot, which might be quite difficult, if not impossible if the latter was experiencing hypoxia-like/oxygen deprivation symptoms.
Because of the mysterious problem that plagued the stealthy fleet to such an extent the radar-evading aircraft were grounded back in 2011 following a deadly incident involving an Alaska-based, the Pentagon initially grounded the F-22s, and then, after lifting the flight ban, it restricted Air Force Raptors to fly near a “proximate landing location” in order to give pilots the possibility to land quickly if their planes’ On Board Oxygen Generating System (OBOGS) fail.
The installation of the new automatic backup oxygen system is not the only upgrade the U.S. Raptors will get in 2015: according to DefenseNews, along with advanced electronic warfare protection and improved ground threat geolocation, F-22s should also get the ability to carry AIM-120D and AIM-9X advanced missiles.
According to some rumors, the six F-22 Raptor stealth jets that left the U.S. on Saturday were deploying near Russia following the Crimean crisis. But the aircraft were simply heading to the Middle East.
On Mar. 30, six F-22 from Langley Air Force Base made a stopover at Moron air base, in Spain. The Raptors had departed as Mazda 01 from the U.S. as a flight of 8 (2 were spares) on Mar. 29 and had crossed the Atlantic Ocean alongside the accompanying tankers: two KC-10 (Gold 51 and 52, 87-0118 and 85-0032) from McGuire Air Force Base, NJ, and a spare KC-135R (Gold 53 62-3547) from Pease Air National Guard Base, NH.
Milair UHF and VHF band listeners on the East Coast monitored the F-22 formation through initial contact with Giant Killer, rejoin with the tankers and subsequent Oceanic Clearance to destination.
According to the French pilots, aerial combat with the Raptor is extremely important, regardless of the outcome of the dogfight: training with the F-22 gives French Mirage 2000 the possibility to learn to fight against a superior fighter: “Sometimes a battle begins even before meeting the adversary, when it is necessary to convince themselves that the opponent is not so terrible, and despite the gap of performance, the technological chasm, one is able to get the game.”