[Photo] U.S. F-22 Raptors refuel from KC-135 over the Persian Gulf

U.S. F-22 stealth jets deployed in the Gulf take fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker.

In order to keep their radar invisibility, U.S. F-22 Raptor multirole jets operating from Al Dhafra, UAE, fly their Combat Air Patrol missions over the Persian Gulf without their underwing tanks.

Refuel close up

That’s why they may need several plugs into aerial refuelers booms to extend their endurance.

Refuel close up 3

F-22s also fly HVAAE (High Value Asset Air Escort) escorting UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) that operate along the boundaries of the Iranian airspace: during one such missions a Raptor discouraged two Iranian F-4s that were trying to intercept a Raptor drone.

Refuel close up 2

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

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About David Cenciotti 3631 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.