As reported by Wired’s Danger Room, the F-22 Raptor has finally achieved the full combat readiness.
The latest (software) upgrade (Block 3.1) has brought the capability to find and engage ground targets using the Synthetic Aperture Radar mapping and eight GBU-39 SDBs (Small Diameter Bombs) to the troubled stealthy fighter that remained grounded for several months in 2011 following “hypoxia-like” symptoms experienced by Raptors pilots in 12 incidents since 2008.
Since the first modified planes were delivered to the 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, those that took part to the Red Flag 12-3 at Nellis AFB, Nevada , belonging to the 27th FS from Langley AFB, Virginia, did not feature the Increment 3.1 and could only play the air-to-air role.
The following interesting HD video shows the 1st FW planes at work during the most recent Flag.
- Photo: MC-12W spyplane specialized in “find, fix, and finish” bad guys at its Red Flag debut (theaviationist.com)
- More than 70 combat planes involved twice a day in world’s most realistic training exercise: welcome to the Red Flag 12-3 (theaviationist.com)
- For the real aviation geek: F-22s, F-15s and B-2s filmed “in action” during Red Flag. From the ground. With audio. (theaviationist.com)
There were Langley (FF), Holloman (HO) and Elmendorf (AK) planes promenant in the video.
you’r right. Looks like they used small parts of footage filmed during previous RF.