Tag Archives: Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

In pictures, F-22A stealth fighters arrive in Germany for Raptor’s inaugural deployment to Europe

Here are the most interesting images of the four F-22A jets that have arrived in Germany earlier today.

On Aug. 28, four F-22A Raptor jets belonging to 325th Fighter Wing, from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, have arrived at Spangdahlem airbase, Germany.

Rather than a show of force against Russia, the deployment was a testbed for the new rapid deployment concept (dubbed “Rapid Raptor Package“) to move a package of F-22s (accompanied by a C-17) and supporting logistics to any forward operating base and have the 5th generation multi-role fighter jets ready for combat operations within 24 hours of deploying with a small logistics footprint.

Here are the most interesting images showing the four Raptors arriving in Germany. The F-22 deployment will continue through mid September for training with USAFE.

Four F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly over the runway before landing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Four F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly over the runway before landing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Three F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly over the runway before landing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Three F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly over the runway before landing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepare to land on the runway at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepare to land on the runway at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft prepare to land at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015, as part of the inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe. Four F-22s from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., along with a C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft and more than 50 support Airmen were part of the deployment. This effort is part of the European Reassurance Initiative and will serve to assure allies of the Air Force’s commitment to European security and stability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren/Released)

Two F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft prepare to land at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015, as part of the inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe. Four F-22s from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., along with a C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft and more than 50 support Airmen were part of the deployment. This effort is part of the European Reassurance Initiative and will serve to assure allies of the Air Force’s commitment to European security and stability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepares to land on the runway at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepares to land on the runway at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two Airmen watch as an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepares to land at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two Airmen watch as an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepares to land at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft lands at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015, as part of the inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., as part of the European Reassurance Initiative and will conduct air training with other Europe-based aircraft while demonstrating U.S. commitment to NATO allies and the security of Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft lands at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015, as part of the inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., as part of the European Reassurance Initiative and will conduct air training with other Europe-based aircraft while demonstrating U.S. commitment to NATO allies and the security of Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren/Released)

Four F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft taxi after landing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015, as part of the inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., as part of the European Reassurance Initiative and will conduct air training with other Europe-based aircraft while demonstrating U.S. commitment to NATO allies and the security of Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren/Released)

Four F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft taxi after landing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015, as part of the inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., as part of the European Reassurance Initiative and will conduct air training with other Europe-based aircraft while demonstrating U.S. commitment to NATO allies and the security of Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren/Released)

Two F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., taxi to hardened aircraft shelters at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., taxi to hardened aircraft shelters at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., sits outside a hardened aircraft shelter at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., sits outside a hardened aircraft shelter at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft pilot assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepares to exit an F-22 at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Barack Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft pilot assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepares to exit an F-22 at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Barack Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft pilot assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepares to exit an F-22 at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Barack Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft pilot assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepares to exit an F-22 at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Barack Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft pilot assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., exits an F-22 at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft pilot assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., exits an F-22 at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A member of the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., sits in the cockpit of an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A member of the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., sits in the cockpit of an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A member of the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., observes an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A member of the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., observes an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A member of the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., observes an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A member of the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., observes an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., taxi to hardened aircraft shelters at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., taxi to hardened aircraft shelters at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

F-22 deployment to Europe underway: 4 Raptors currently heading to Germany

Tyndall F-22s expected at Spangdahlem airbase, Germany, later today.

Four F-22A Raptor stealth jets will arrive at Spangdahlem airbase later today, to start the deployment in Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

The aircraft, belonging to 325th Fighter Wing, from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, and using radio callsign “Tabor 11” are accompained by two air spares and supported by several tankers along the way according to the information posted by some very well informed users on Scramble forum.

As happened to the first A-10 Theater Security Package in May, Spangdahlem is going to be the first stop for the U.S. Raptors that are expected to visit other eastern Europe airbases.

Newsworthy, the deployment comes just few days after it was announced by Air Force Secretary Deborah James, a sign that a small package of 4 F-22s can be deployed across the world quite quickly: as already explained, in 2013 the U.S. Air Force conceived a new rapid deployment concept (dubbed “Rapid Raptor Package“) to deploy a package of F-22s (accompanied by a C-17) and supporting logistics to any forward operating base and have the stealth fighter jet ready for combat operations within 24 hours of deploying with a small logistics footprint.

Actually, this is not the very first deployment of Raptors in Europe: four Raptors deployed to support the F-22 appearance at Farnborough and RIAT airshows (more or less like the F-35s were expected to do last year before they were grounded and forced to cancel) in July 2010. So it was a sort of airshow deployment that involved four 3rd Wing F-22s at RAF Lakenheath for a couple of weeks.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

U.S. is about to deploy F-22 Raptor stealth jets to Europe in a show of force against Russia

F-22 Raptors to be deployed to Europe “very soon.”

The Air Force is about to deploy the F-22 Raptor 5th generation multi-role stealth fighter to the European theater, as a potential deterrent to Russian aggression, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said on Aug. 24.

The Raptor deployment had already been announced in June, when Air Force Secretary, at Le Bourget airshow in Paris, said that Russia was the “biggest threat” her mind, but it now appears to be few days away.

So far the U.S. has responded to the proxy war in Ukraine and to the spike in Russia Air Force activity in the Baltic region with two 6-month TSPs (Theater Security Packages), made up of F-15s and A-10s, and stepping up its presence at regional exercises with NATO allies and partners, attended also by B-52 strategic bombers and A-10 attack planes.

Raptors have often taken part in rotational deployments in the Asia-Pacific region since 2009, but have never been deployed to Europe. It would be interesting to know which airbases are being considered for such deployment that should include 12 aircraft and 200-300 support personnel even though the aircraft will probably not be stationed at a single base but will perform short rotations to a few airports in eastern Europe as already done by the F-15s and A-10s of the previous TSPs (that have visited Germany, UK, Poland, Estonia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, etc.).

Although it was born U.S.’s premier air superiority fighter the F-22 has become a multirole aircraft that has had its baptism of fire in the air-to-surface role during the air war against ISIS: along with air-to-air missiles, the Raptor can also drop Precision Guided Munitions: two 1,000-lb GBU-32 JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) or 8 GBU-39 small diameter bombs.

However, according to the U.S. Air Force, during the air campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the once troubled stealth plane has emerged as F-22 is pivotal to ensure the safety of the other aircraft involved in the air campaign: the Raptors act as “electronic warfare enabled sensor-rich multi-role aircraft” that provide key kinetic situational awareness to other aircraft: they escort strike packages into and out of the target area while gathering details about the enemy systems and spreading intelligence to other “networked” assets supporting the mission to improve the overall situational awareness.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

U.S. F-22 Raptor stealth jets provide kinetic situational awareness over Syria

Although they were not conceived to play this kind of role, F-22 Raptors have emerged as some of the U.S.-led Coalition’s most reliable combat assets in supporting coalition planes during air strikes in Syria and Iraq.

At the beginning of July, U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor jets had flown only 204 sorties out of 44,000 launched by the U.S.-lead coalition against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Little more than a month ago, the multirole stealth combat planes deployed to Al Dhafra airbase in the UAE had dropped 270 bombs on targets located in 60 of the 7,900 locations hit by the other aircraft supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Even though the largest number of air strikes is carried out by other assets, it looks like the role played by the (once troubled) F-22 is pivotal to ensure the safety of the other aircraft involved in the air campaign: the Raptors act as “electronic warfare enabled sensor-rich multi-role aircraft” escorting strike packages into and out of the target area while gathering details about the enemy systems and spreading intelligence to other “networked” assets supporting the mission to improve the overall situational awareness.

“We are operating regularly in Iraq and Syria. The F-22’s advanced sensors and low-observable characteristics enable us to operate much closer to non-coalition surface-to-air missiles and fighter aircraft with little risk of detection,” said Lt. Col. J. (name withheld for security reasons) in a recent 380th Air Expeditionary Wing release. “We provide increased situational awareness for other coalition aircraft while simultaneously delivering precision air-to-ground weapons. This allows us to reduce the risk to our forces while mitigating the risk to civilian casualties, one of our highest priorities in this conflict. It is a true multirole aircraft.”

In simple words, the F-22 pilot leverage advanced onboard sensors, as the AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar, to collect valuable details about the enemy Order of Battle, then they share the “picture” with attack planes, command and control assets, as well as Airborne Early Warning aircraft, while escorting other manned or unmanned aircraft towards the targets. As happened when they facilitated the retaliatory air strikes conducted by the Royal Jordanian Air Force F-16s after the burning alive of the pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh captured on Dec. 24, 2014.

Needless to say, every now and then they can also attack their own targets using Precision Guided Munitions: two 1,000-lb GBU-32 JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) or 8 GBU-39 small diameter bombs, “which have been successfully employed against key ISIL targets. [The SDB] is extremely accurate from very long distances and has the lowest collateral damage potential of any weapon in our inventory.”

Therefore, although this may not be what the F-22 was conceived for, the U.S.’s premier air superiority fighter is excelling in a new role: making other aircraft more survivable in contested airspaces like Syria and Iraq.

 Top image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

Jaw-dropping 360° video brings you aboard a P-51 flying with an F-22 in close formation

Enjoy a ride in a P-51 flying in formation with an F-22 Raptor.

The following cockpit footage was captured at the 2015 Abbotsford International Air Show .

It lets you experience a 360° view from inside the Heritage Flight Museum’s P-51D Mustang “VAL-HALLA” piloted by Greg “B.A.” Anders while flying with Maj John “Taboo” Cummings piloting the Air Combat Command’s F-22 Raptor in close formation.

If you use one of the supported browsers (I’ve tested it with both Firefox and Chrome and it works) or app, by using the virtual mouse in the upper left corner, the camera will let you move around the 360 degree field of view of the spherical video.

Pretty impressive.

360° tech will soon become a standard in aviation videos. Few weeks ago we showed a similar, cool video, shot from inside the rear cockpit of an F-5F Tiger of the “Patrouille Suisse” display team during a flight over the Swiss Alps.