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F-22 Raptors Landing in Alaska

Raptors were flown by Reserve pilots assigned to the 302nd Fighter Squadron

Raptors Return

Raptors assigned to Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska land during the Reserve Unit Training Assembly weekend March 9. The Raptors were flown by Reserve pilots assigned to the 302nd Fighter Squadron during the 477th Fighter Groups monthly training weekend. During the week the 477th Fighter Group, Alaska’s only Reserve unit, integrates with the active duty 3rd Wing.

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F-22 Raptor Radar Cross-Section: Bird, bee, fly?

Flying Invisibly

The F-22 Raptor is known for its stealth capabilities worldwide. Years before its introduction into service, adversaries were already clamoring to develop radar defenses able to see it. Even in 2019 it remains as elusive as it is awesome. Below we’ll take a look at the F-22’s radar cross-section, and how its able to slip through air defenses undetected.

A 1st Fighter Wing’s F-22 Raptor from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. pulls into position to accept fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker with the 756th Air Refueling Squadron, Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility, Md. off the east coast on May 10, 2012. The first Raptor assigned to the Wing arrived Jan. 7, 2005. This aircraft was allocated as a trainer, and was docked in a hanger for maintenance personnel to familiarize themselves with its complex systems. The second Raptor, designated for flying operations, arrived Jan. 18, 2005. On Dec. 15, 2005, Air Combat Command commander, along with the 1 FW commander, announced the 27th Fighter Squadron as fully operational capable to fly, fight and win with the F-22. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock)
Continue reading F-22 Raptor Radar Cross-Section: Bird, bee, fly?
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F-22 Raptor Minimum Radius Turn Composite Image

A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor performs the stiff pitch above the AirPower over Hampton Roads Open House crowd at Langley Air Force Base, Va., May 18, 2018. In its demonstration, the aircraft showed stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionic warfighting capabilities.

Thrust Vectoring around the corner

A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor performs the stiff pitch above the AirPower over Hampton Roads Open House crowd at Langley Air Force Base, Va., May 18, 2018. In its demonstration, the aircraft showed stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionic warfighting capabilities.

Check out the incredible composite image below showing the F-22 Raptor performing a Minimum Radius Turn. The Raptor is able to turn so tightly due to the thrust vectoring capabilities of its two powerful afterburning engines. As the angle of the thrust increases, the engines literally start pushing the jet tighter into the turn, leading to some truly incredible maneuvers.

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Why is the F-35 a Game Changer in the Pacific?

The F-35 is the one of the most well known, and expensive, defense projects in human history. With new capabilities just now hitting the battlefield, the full implications of its deployment are still be realized on the world stage. With Western air superiority established in much of the Middle East area of operations, the Pacific region stands to be impacted more by the F-35’s arrival to the scene.

Even more intimidating is that same carrier stocked up with fifth-generation US stealth fighters

An F-35B Lightning II assigned to the “Flying Leathernecks” of Marine Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 122 lands on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6). America is currently underway conducting routine operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Vance Hand/Released)

Japan has been flying the F-35, right next to China, since early 2018. And just last month, the F-35 was officially welcomed into the South Korean Air Force. In the space of 24 months, the US and two of its allies deployed the stealthiest, and one of the most capable, fighter jets in the world, right in China’s back yard. Additionally the US Marines now operate the F-35 aboard amphibious assault aircraft carriers criss-crossing the South China Sea, pushing back against China’s advances and increasing territorial claims.

Two U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs Lightning II with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), standby on the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during routine training in the Eastern Pacific, Sept. 28, 2019. 3rd MAW is capable of conducting missions across the range of military operations and continues to promote the defense of our nation and its interests. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya)

As deliveries to allies continue to ramp up, along with the delivery of the Navy’s variant, the F-35C, pressure on China is only likely to continue increasing. When the F-35C is fully operational with the Navy, the US will also be able to employ its fleet of nuclear-powered Super Carriers to push US stealth fighters right where they need to be.

A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), prepares to land on the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during routine training in the Eastern Pacific, Sept. 28, 2019. 3rd MAW is capable of conducting missions across the range of military operations and continues to promote the defense of our nation and its interests. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya)
PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 30, 2019) Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Sabrina Bales, assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6, signals an F-35B Lightning II assigned to the Flying Leathernecks of Marine Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 122 to take off from the ship’s flight deck. America is currently underway conducting routine operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Vance Hand/Released)

A fully crewed Nimitz-class Super Carrier is an awesome and frightening sight to behold by adversarial nations. The only thing even more intimidating is that same carrier stocked up with fifth-generation US stealth fighters instead of their old Super Hornets. Much of the world’s attention is expected to continue looking towards the Indo-Pacific. The F-35’s arrival on the scene, only sure to continue increasing, will change the game in the Pacific region.

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F-35 First Combat Aerial Refueling

An Airman piloting an F-35A Lightning II completes aerial refueling courtesy of Airmen from the 28th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron aboard a KC-135R Stratotanker, April 26, 2019 over an undisclosed location. The F-35 is on its first deployment to the Middle East as part of the inaugural demonstration of the fighter’s next generation combat capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Keifer Bowes)

An Airman piloting an F-35A Lightning II completes aerial refueling courtesy of Airmen from the 28th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron aboard a KC-135R Stratotanker, April 26, 2019 over an undisclosed location. The F-35 is on its first deployment to the Middle East as part of the inaugural demonstration of the fighter’s next generation combat capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Keifer Bowes)

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B-2 Spirit Rainbow Hawaii Deployment

A B-2 Spirit bomber, deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, is staged on the flightline at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Jan. 30, 2019. Three B-2 Spirit stealth bombers and more than 200 Airmen deployed here in support of U.S. Strategic Command’s Bomber Task Force (BTF) mission. During the BTF mission 37 sorties were flown for a total of 171 hours, with eight of the missions including F-22 Raptor integration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Barley)

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F-35 & F-18 Formation Over Arabian Sea

Two F-35B Lightning II, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, left, an F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151, and an F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to VFA 41, fly in formation over the Arabian Sea, Dec. 14, 2018. The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, Essex Amphibious Ready Group, and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit are conducting integrated operations in the Arabian Sea to ensure stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor D. Loessin)
Two F-35B Lightning II, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, left, an F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151, and an F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to VFA 41, fly in formation over the Arabian Sea, Dec. 14, 2018. The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, Essex Amphibious Ready Group, and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit are conducting integrated operations in the Arabian Sea to ensure stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor D. Loessin)

Two F-35B Lightning II, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, left, an F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151, and an F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to VFA 41, fly in formation over the Arabian Sea, Dec. 14, 2018. The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, Essex Amphibious Ready Group, and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit are conducting integrated operations in the Arabian Sea to ensure stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor D. Loessin)

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US Navy F-35C Lightning II over California

LEMOORE, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2018) An F-35C Lightning II, attached to the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore, fly in formation for a photo exercise. VFA-147 is the first U.S. Navy Operational F-35C squadron based out of NAS Lemoore. Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, headquartered at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif. ensures that each F-35C squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for Commander, Naval Air Forces. With its stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35C will be the first 5th generation aircraft operated from an aircraft carrier. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon E. Renfroe/Released)

LEMOORE, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2018) An F-35C Lightning II, attached to the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore, fly in formation for a photo exercise. VFA-147 is the first U.S. Navy Operational F-35C squadron based out of NAS Lemoore. Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, headquartered at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif. ensures that each F-35C squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for Commander, Naval Air Forces.  With its stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35C will be the first 5th generation aircraft operated from an aircraft carrier. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon E. Renfroe/Released)

LEMOORE, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2018) An F-35C Lightning II, attached to the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore, fly in formation for a photo exercise. VFA-147 is the first U.S. Navy Operational F-35C squadron based out of NAS Lemoore. Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, headquartered at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif. ensures that each F-35C squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for Commander, Naval Air Forces. With its stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35C will be the first 5th generation aircraft operated from an aircraft carrier. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon E. Renfroe/Released)

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Navy’s Newest STEALTH Ship USS Tulsa

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 21, 2018) The future USS Tulsa (LCS 16) arrives at its new homeport, Naval Base San Diego, after completing its maiden voyage from the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. Tulsa is the eighth ship in the littoral combat ship Independence-variant class and is scheduled for commissioning Feb. 16, 2019 in San Francisco. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jason Isaacs/Released)

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 21, 2018) The future USS Tulsa (LCS 16) arrives at its new homeport, Naval Base San Diego, after completing its maiden voyage from the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. Tulsa is the eighth ship in the littoral combat ship Independence-variant class and is scheduled for commissioning Feb. 16, 2019 in San Francisco. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jason Isaacs/Released)

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 21, 2018) The future USS Tulsa (LCS 16) arrives at its new homeport, Naval Base San Diego, after completing its maiden voyage from the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. Tulsa is the eighth ship in the littoral combat ship Independence-variant class and is scheduled for commissioning Feb. 16, 2019 in San Francisco. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jason Isaacs/Released)

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36 F-35s on One Runway

Pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings taxi F-35As on the runway in preparation for a combat power exercise Nov. 19, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. During the exercise wings confirmed their ability to employ a large force of jets against air and ground targets, demonstrating the readiness and lethality of the F-35 Lightning II. As the first combat-ready F-35 units in the Air Force, the 388th and 419th FWs are ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Justin Fuchs)

Pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings taxi F-35As on the runway in preparation for a combat power exercise Nov. 19, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. During the exercise wings confirmed their ability to employ a large force of jets against air and ground targets, demonstrating the readiness and lethality of the F-35 Lightning II. As the first combat-ready F-35 units in the Air Force, the 388th and 419th FWs are ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Justin Fuchs)

Pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings taxi F-35As on the runway in preparation for a combat power exercise Nov. 19, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. During the exercise wings confirmed their ability to employ a large force of jets against air and ground targets, demonstrating the readiness and lethality of the F-35 Lightning II. As the first combat-ready F-35 units in the Air Force, the 388th and 419th FWs are ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Justin Fuchs)

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First Ever F-35 Elephant Walk

Pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings taxi F-35As on the runway in preparation for a combat power exercise Nov. 19, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. During the exercise, the wings confirmed their ability to employ a large force of jets against air and ground targets, demonstrating the readiness and lethality of the F-35 Lightning II. As the first combat-ready F-35 units in the Air Force, the 388th and 419th FWs are ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings taxi F-35As on the runway in preparation for a combat power exercise Nov. 19, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. During the exercise, the wings confirmed their ability to employ a large force of jets against air and ground targets, demonstrating the readiness and lethality of the F-35 Lightning II. As the first combat-ready F-35 units in the Air Force, the 388th and 419th FWs are ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings taxi F-35As on the runway in preparation for a combat power exercise Nov. 19, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. During the exercise, the wings confirmed their ability to employ a large force of jets against air and ground targets, demonstrating the readiness and lethality of the F-35 Lightning II. As the first combat-ready F-35 units in the Air Force, the 388th and 419th FWs are ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

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US Marine F-35B in Qatar

DOHA, Qatar (Oct. 14, 2018) An F-35B Lightning II attached to the “Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 is chocked and chained on the flight deck as the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) arrives in Doha, Qatar. Essex is a flexible, and persistent Navy-Marine Corps team deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operation in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Freeman/Released)

DOHA, Qatar (Oct. 14, 2018) An F-35B Lightning II attached to the “Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 is chocked and chained on the flight deck as the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) arrives in Doha, Qatar. Essex is a flexible, and persistent Navy-Marine Corps team deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operation in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Freeman/Released)

DOHA, Qatar (Oct. 14, 2018) An F-35B Lightning II attached to the “Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 is chocked and chained on the flight deck as the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) arrives in Doha, Qatar. Essex is a flexible, and persistent Navy-Marine Corps team deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operation in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Freeman/Released)

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F-35B Vertical Landing

Royal Navy Cmdr. Nathan Gray and U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Michael Lippert, both F-35 Pax River ITF test pilots, conduct ski jumps and field carrier landing practices with F-35Bs on Aug. 28, 2018, at NAS Patuxent River as part of the workups for the First of Class Flight Trials aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth. Around 200 supporting staff from the ITF, including pilots, engineers, maintainers and data analysts, will take two F-35Bs test aircraft aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth this fall to evaluate the fifth-generation aircraft performance and integration with Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier. This fixed wing test period brings the U.K. one step closer to carrier strike capabilities.

Royal Navy Cmdr. Nathan Gray and U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Michael Lippert, both F-35 Pax River ITF test pilots, conduct ski jumps and field carrier landing practices with F-35Bs on Aug. 28, 2018, at NAS Patuxent River as part of the workups for the First of Class Flight Trials aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth.  Around 200 supporting staff from the ITF, including pilots, engineers, maintainers and data analysts, will take two F-35Bs test aircraft aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth this fall to evaluate the fifth-generation aircraft performance and integration with Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier. This fixed wing test period brings the U.K. one step closer to carrier strike capabilities.

 

Royal Navy Cmdr. Nathan Gray and U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Michael Lippert, both F-35 Pax River ITF test pilots, conduct ski jumps and field carrier landing practices with F-35Bs on Aug. 28, 2018, at NAS Patuxent River as part of the workups for the First of Class Flight Trials aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Around 200 supporting staff from the ITF, including pilots, engineers, maintainers and data analysts, will take two F-35Bs test aircraft aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth this fall to evaluate the fifth-generation aircraft performance and integration with Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier. This fixed wing test period brings the U.K. one step closer to carrier strike capabilities.