Tag Archives: Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

F-22 Raptor stealth fighter sports low-visibility bomb markings

For the first time bomb markings appear on the F-22s that took part in the air campaign against Daesh.

Everything is stealth in the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, even the bomb signs….

This is what the top image, taken by The Aviationist’s contributor Alessandro Fucito at RAF Lakenheath at the beginning of May, seems to suggest. Indeed, the photograph shows one of the 12x F-22s belonging to the 95th FS from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, deployed to the UK until May 8,  with 15 barely visible bomb markings (and another square sign – even though the latter may be some sort of patch on the Radar Absorbing Material coating).

F-22 bomb marks

The bomb silhouettes (on the airframe serialled AF05-086) represent GBU-32 1,000-lb JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions), one of the two types of bombs the 5th generation aircraft is able to carry: indeed, for air-to-surface missions, the multirole stealth jet can carry either 2x GBU-32s or 8x GBU-39 small diameter bombs in the internal weapons bay.

Bomb and kill markings are very well-known tradition in military aviation. In Syria, Russian Su-34s  sported red star silhouettes to mark 10 air strikes, whilst EA-18G Growlers of VAQ-137 aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt got unique kill markings, showing Electronic Attack support as well as cellular jamming missions.

The Tyndall’s Raptor depicted in the photo has most probably been given the traditional bomb markings after taking part in the air war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria during a rotation last year.

The F-22s have had their baptism of fire during Operation Inherent Resolve in September 2014.

Since the beginning of the air campaign, the F-22 have accounted for only 2% of the sorties and 2% of the overall weapons released (that is why it is safe to assume every silhouette represents one JDAM): their role is indeed to use the advanced onboard sensors, as the AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar, to gather valuable details about the enemy targets and then  share the “picture” with attack planes, command and control assets, as well as Airborne Early Warning aircraft.

This mission has been given a fancy name: “kinetic situational awareness.”

Although its production was cancelled in 2009 with the production line closed in 2012, after 187 F-22s had been procured, the House Armed Services Committee has asked the Air Force to produce a study on what it would take to restart building the Raptor in order to keep up with the enemies until the next generation fighter arrives, something heavily debated recently, and opposed by the Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.

Image credit: The Aviationist / Alessandro Fucito

Take a look at this unique formation: F-15C, F-15E, F-22 and Typhoon

Raptors and Eagles and Typhoons flying together.

A four-ship formation consisting of a U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle from the 494th Fighter Squadron, an F-15 Eagle from the 493rd Fighter Squadron, an F-22A from the 95th Fighter Squadron, and a Royal Air Force Typhoon flew together during a training sortie on Apr. 26.

12 Raptors from the 95th FS are deployed from Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., and will be conducting air training exercises with other U.S. and Royal Air Force aircraft over the next several weeks.

On Apr. 25, two F-22s deployed to a Romanian airbase on the Black Sea coast.

On Apr. 26, two F-22s flew at low altitude through the famous Mach Loop training area in Wales.

On Apr. 27, two F-22s deployed at Siauliai airbase, Lithuania, where NATO BAP (Baltic Air Patrol) jets are based.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force/ Jim Haseltine

U.S. Air Force F-22s deploy to Lithuania (as an RC-135W patrols the Baltic Sea)

Two Raptors have arrived at Siauliai Air Base, in Lithuania.

According to the information released by the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius, (two) F-22 stealth fighter jets have deployed to Siauliai Air Base, on Apr. 27.

Supported by a KC-135R (“Quid 177”), the F-22s (MONGL01 and 02) landed at the main NATO BAP (Baltic Air Patrol) airbase in Lithuania.

The aircraft belong to the contingent of 12 Raptors from 95th FS from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, currently deployed to Europe and it’s still not clear how long they will remain there.

On Apr. 25, two F-22s deployed to a Romanian airbase on the Black Sea coast for a quick visit.

Interestingly, as noted by Interfax, the aircraft deployed more or less as an RC-135W from RAF Mildenhall carried out a routine (intelligence gathering) mission over the Baltic Sea using radio callsign “Abilo 71”.

On April 14, a U.S. Air Force RC-135  flying a routine mission (in international airspace) over the Baltic Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 that performed a barrel roll over the American electronic intelligence gathering aircraft.

 

This Awesome Footage shows U.S. F-22s flying at low altitude through the famous Mach Loop for the first time

Raptors hit the Mach Loop!

Videos and photographs emerged on the Internet, showing that the Raptor jets have been active within the famous British Mach Loop Low Flying Area.

Since 12 Raptors are deployed to RAF Lakenheath, there is the opportunity for them to get involved in a variety of training activities in the UK and across the continent.

So far the Raptors presence in Europe had only an episodic profile, now we may speak of an operation which is going to last a bit longer. According to the official information the U.S. stealth jets are going to stay overseas until May.

The video above shows the U.S. 5th generation fighter enter the British Mach Loop LFA for the very first time on Apr. 26. In this video one may also note the aircraft maneuvering at low altitude (followed by an U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle from RAF Lakenheath).

Nonetheless, considering the European Reassurance Initiative and inclusion of the Raptor deployments therein (also plausibly in a form of so-called Rapid Raptor Package), the stealth fighter may become a more common sight in the European theater.

Two F-22s were deployed to Romania on Apr. 25 for a few days in Black Sea area.

Video/Image Credit: YouTube/Elwyn R

Two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors deploy to Romania for the first time

Two F-22 Raptors and one KC-135 Stratotanker arrived in Romania.

Two F-22s and approximately 20 supporting Airmen, with the 95th Fighter Squadron, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, arrived at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania, on the on Apr. 25.

The F-22s belong to the contingent (the largest Raptor deployment to Europe to date ) recently deployed to RAF Lakenheath, UK, and will remain at the Romanian airbase on the Black Sea coast, for a brief period of time before returning to the UK, to continue their training deployment.

“Today, we rapidly deployed these aircraft, along with a KC-135 Stratotanker, here to showcase our flexible response and our range of capabilities,” Lt. Gen. Timothy Ray, 3rd Air Force commander, said in a U.S. Air Force release.

“These aircraft have the ability to project air dominance quickly, at great distances, to defeat any possible threat.”

“It’s important we test our infrastructure, aircraft capabilities, and the talented Airmen and allies who will host these aircraft in Europe,” said Gen. Frank Gorenc, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander. “This deployment advances our airpower evolution and demonstrates our resolve and commitment to European safety and security.”

12 F-22s deployed to Europe (three sections of 4 Raptors) along with ANG F-15s in the last few weeks to deter further  Russian aggression: four Raptors took part in the flyover for the 100th anniversary of LaFayette Escadrille whereas the F-15s have taken part in Frisian Flag exercise before heading to Bulgaria.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force