Weapons system video of first F-22 Raptor air strike on ISIS in Syria.

This video shows an attack on a ISIS compound that, according to the Pentagon, was struck by F-22 Raptors at their baptism of fire.

Earlier today, the Pentagon released the imagery of a compound near Ar Raqqah attacked by U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors before and after the raid conducted by the stealth jets.

Pre-Post F-22 strike

Now take a look at the following video, recorded by an unspecified aircraft on board camera system of this ISIS compound northwest of Ar Raqqah. It’s the very same shape, damage and all, hence it must be the very same plane.

What remains unknown is what F-22 system recorded the footage (provided it was the Raptor and not a drone).

Was the Raptor equipped with an IRST (Infra-Red Search and Tracking) system? Or maybe the one above is not a video recorded by a lens but it is a radar image generated by the F-22’s APG-77v1 radar which provides high-resolution synthetic aperture radar mapping, ground moving target indication and track (GMTI/GMTT), automatic cueing and recognition, combat identification, etc. It would be at super-high-definition, so defined it seems a video recorded with a FLIR…but who knows, maybe the F-22 uses such an advanced radar….

Still, SAR can see through smoke, fog etc. so, it’s quite unlike it is an image taken by the plane itself. It was most probably taken by a nearby drone (raising the question: if a drone was operating nearby, why wasn’t a Reaper dispatched to hit the compound?).

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a 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 five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Was the building in the video (in 36.3871867, 38.1720613 I think) related to the Tishrin Dam in any way?

  2. This is a bit long winded. Bear with me, or skim it.

    All these advanced concepts are about to be obsolete when we can put both GPS and low-failure dead-reckoning systems (position during GPS jamming) in one package to keep the aircraft positionally aware of itself and targets. We’ll also be progressing over time towards a smarter auto-pilot system in case of X, Y, or Z happens and the pilot wants to a number cruncher for stuff like computed and historical odds of success on different general plans of action. Standoff distance to target will increase dramatically too as missiles become smarter, more autonomous, and fairly maneuverable in flight to evade threats while moving to the target.

    We’re already doing this with prototype DARPA rifle ammunition to self-steer bullets to target via laser sight on the enemy. The system uses a small camera in the front of the bullet and tiny fins popping out after exiting the gun barrel (redirects bullet) that can survive the extreme forces present while exiting the gun barrel. We also have battle tested DARPA developed self-guided mortars that can pop out fins at maximum altitude to cruise towards their target at up to 20 mile range and 15 foot accuracy on target. The sophisticated mortars cost a fortune to make now, but that will change.

    This will all get increasingly creepy as time goes on at this point. Pretty soon the plane and pilot will be less important to the mission than the new advanced add-on modules augmenting our oldest and newest aircraft to dramatically enhance and add new capabilities per mission on a daily or weekly basis. The pilot will just be the one who pulls the trigger after advanced & lightweight avionic add-on pods identify targets with 95% accuracy from 3 to 5 miles out (almost possible now). I’ll bet that the distance for that target accuracy doubles every few years at this point, until it’s obvious that we should just skip the airplane.

    We’ll inevitably move towards highly maneuverable remote user operated missile drones (with wings) to keep the skies under control everywhere. The drones will have amazing ability to “reach out and touch” targets over hundreds to a thousand miles away at will with devastating effects in 10 or 20 years. This increased smart range on military systems will dramatically lower the cost of surveillance and normal peace time military operations, but it’d get hairy in a real war as stocks of high tech weapons like this get depleted. Real real face-to-face violence would eventually begin with today’s powerful ground weapons in a World War III scenario, and that’s something we haven’t really seen in a long time as an event that effects practically everyone on the planet at once. It all gets more likely as global power sharing shifts away from the US a bit towards countries like China and Russia as technology narrows the gap to developing any capability. Don’t even get me started on how reverse engineering captured technologies will become trivial with good 3D printers and “scanners” around to make crude copies of many basic & advanced devices for cheap.

    I hope I never live to see it happen, since I’m a father who loves his young children and couldn’t bear seeing them go to war in that kind of scenario.

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