Tag Archives: Syria

Video shows U.S. Air Force B-1 bomber taking gas during Syria air strikes through NVGs

B-Roll of a U.S. Air Force B-1 “Lancer” refueling mid-air during a night air strike in Syria.

Beginning on Sept. 23, B-1B bombers of the 7th Bomb Wing from Dyess AFB, deployed to Al Udeid airbase, in Qatar, have taken part in the air strikes on ISIS targets in Syria.

Supported by KC-135 tankers (also based at Al Udeid), the B-1 “Lancer” supersonic variable-sweep wing, strategic bombers have pounded ground targets in both Syria and Iraq.

Here’s an interesting video showing one “Bone”(from “B-One”) refueling at night from a KC-135 while enroute to the target area in Syria on Sept. 27, as seen through the NVG (Night Vision Googgles).


 

Super Cool Night Photos of the F-22 Raptor stealth jets refueling mid-air enroute to Syria

Here are some interesting photographs of the F-22 Raptor of the 1st Fighter Wing, refueling mid-air during strike operations in Syria.

Taken on Sept. 26, the following images were taken from the boomer position aboard a U.S Air Force KC-10 Extender tanker during air-to-air refueling operations of an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft enroute to Syria.

Raptors refuel

The Raptors, launched from Al Dhafra, in the UAE, where they are deployed along the F-15E Strike Eagles from RAF Lakenheath, were part of a strike package that was engaging ISIL targets in Syria.

Raptors refuel

The F-22 Raptors of the 1st FW that have been stationed in the Persian Gulf from 6 months, will soon be replaced by 6 Raptors belonging to the 95th FS from Tyndall Air Force Base.

Raptors refuel

F-15E aircraft from RAF Lakenheath will be releaved by Strike Eagles from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Raptors refuel

Image: U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Russ Scalf

 

Photos of B-1B over Fallujah remind us “Bones” are bombing ISIS in Iraq and Syria

B-1B “Lancer” bombers belonging to the 7th Bomb Wing from Dyess Air Force Base, in Texas, are bombing ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria.

An unspecified number of B-1B bombers of the 7th Bomb Wing from Dyess AFB is currently operating from Al Udeid airbase, in Qatar. If you type the Qatari airbase name in Google Earth, you can spot at least 5 “Lancers” parked on the main apron, along with KC-135 tankers.

Al Udeid

Image credit: Google Earth

Originally the “Bones” (as the plane are nicknamed by their pilots), supported by 300 airmen, were deployed to the region to support Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan as part of a standard 6-month rotation to the main U.S. Air Force base in the Persian Gulf.

Then, they were destined to the current air campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

More or less at the same time when their presence in the opening waves of air strikes in Syria was confirmed by officials at the Pentagon, a composite photo made with video stills, of a B-1B circling over Fallujah, 69 kilometers to the west of Baghdad, on Sept. 24, was posted on Arab forum: a reminder that there’s a war going on in Iraq too and that air strikes on ISIS not only involve F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets and F-15E aircraft, but also supersonic variable-sweep wing, jet-powered strategic bombers too.

Strategic bombers that can perform complex combined operations with escorting F-22, drop stealthy air-launched cruise missiles, perform maritime attacks and old-fashioned carpet bombings.

Top Image: Defense-arab.com.

H/T Tom Cooper at ACIG.info for finding the image.

 

Why this photo of an F-22 Raptor stealth jet taking off for a night air strike in Syria is interesting

Here is an interesting photograph shot on the night of Sept. 23, when the U.S. fifth generation fighter plane had its baptism of fire.

The image in this post is interesting for several reasons.

First of all, it shows a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth jet with the 1st Fighter Wing taking off to take part in the U.S. and allied offensive against ISIS in Syria on the night of Sept. 23, when the U.S. Air Force 5th generation fighter plane had its baptism of fire.

Then, in spite of the low quality, the shot is worth a mention as it is one of the very few images you will find on the Internet showing an F-22 at night partly lit up by the green formation lights. In fact, although it may sound weird, there are not so many shots of depicting the Raptor after night. You can find more F-35 after-dark photographs than F-22 ones.

So, enjoy a barely visible Raptor (and notice the stealth plane’s formation lights switched on) as it departs from Al Dhafra for a strike mission in Syria.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

F-15E Strike Eagles took part in the first air strikes in Syria along with stealth F-22 Raptor Jets

Not only F-22 Raptors conducted the air strikes on ISIS in Syria. F-15E Strike Eagles took part to the first coalition strike package.

According to the U.S. Air Force, F-15E Strike Eagles were part of the large coalition strike package that was the first to strike ISIS targets in Syria.

The attack planes, that were already taking part in the offensive against terrorist in Iraq, must have been those of the 48th Fighter Wing, from RAF Lakenheath, currently deployed to Al Udeid, Qatar Al Dhafra, UAE.

Although it could be guessed, the opening wave of the air strikes in Syria included a mix of stealth and conventional planes. Among them, there were also F-15E Strike Eagles that, although far from being radar-evading, can carry more weaponry than the F-22s that, according to official sources, employed only two 1,000-lb GBU-32 GPS-guided JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions).

So, were the F-22s really necessary?

Yes and no.

For sure the air strikes take place well inside an airspace still guarded by Syrian air defense radars and surface to air missile batteries, where Syrian planes involved in their domestic war against rebels, usually operate. Moreover it’s quite difficult to assess the current state of the Syrian air defenses (some equipment was seized by rebels, other systems were probably restored or being restored, others may be in the hands of some groups, etc.) and, considered that it seems these first strikes were not aimed at the Syrian anti-aircraft equipment, it’s safe to say they can still theoretically pose a threat to U.S. and allied airplanes. Do you remember what happened to the Turkish RF-4E shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft artillery fire a couple of years ago?

Even if any sort of reaction by some of these Syrian air defenses was and still is quite unlikely, stealth planes, supported by EW (Electronic Warfare) platforms, could be used to attack targets close to SAM batteries and other dangerous spots.

Hence, the F-22 Raptor stealth fighters were useful because of their ability to enter, mostly undetected, an anti-access target aerea, gather details about the enemy systems with their extremely advanced onboard sensors, escort other unstealthy planes and, last but not least, attack their own targets with JDAMs.

In recent exercises, F-22s flew dual missions that they will probably fly over Syria as well: HVAAE (High Value Air Asset Escort) and air-to-surface, providing the capability to perform an immediate restrike on the same target (or one nearby), if needed.

Moreover, the U.S. has invested a lot in the F-22 Raptor and the U.S. Air Force has worked so much in the last few years to turn the troubled, expensive interceptor into a real multi-role platform that could be eventually used in a real operation.

And it must not be forgotten that recent conflicts have always been a marketing opportunity” to “advertise” and/or test old and new weapons systems; in this case it was also the chance to appease those who criticised the costly stealth plane and the fact it was never used in combat (until yesterday).

Image credit: U.S. Air Force