F-22s Act as Flying Scouts Over Syria
Three years ago, four F-22 Raptors taking part in the second-wave of the U.S.-led coalition’s opening air strikes on Islamic State in Syria dropped their bombs. It was the first time the stealthy fifth-generation fighters had ever engaged in combat. The coalition’s war planners also used the F-22s to... Read more
In January 1991, Both Iraq and America Claimed Fictional Air-to-Air Victories
During the U.S.-led air war on Iraq in 1991, a U.S. Air Force EF-111A electronic-warfare plane forced an Iraqi air force Mirage F.1EQ to fly into the ground. The EF-111 thus scored an air-to-air kill without ever firing a shot. At least, that’s what the U.S. Air Force claimed.... Read more
The Air Force Can’t Quit NASCAR
This story originally appeared on Feb. 29, 2016. America’s most famous auto raceway looms large between a beach and a mall not far from the airport in Daytona Beach, eastern Florida’s self-styled “Spring Break Capital of the World.” From a distance, the Daytona International Speedway’s 10,000 red, white and... Read more
America Has a Long Tradition of Covertly Flying Enemy Aircraft
On Sept. 6, 2017, the U.S. Air Force announced that one of its aircraft had crashed the previous day in the Nevada Test and Training Range, roughly 100 miles north of Las Vegas. Just a day earlier, two A-10s crashed during a training mission over the same range. Both... Read more
Imagine Drones Carrying Drones Carrying Missiles
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — DARPA, the Pentagon’s fringe-science organization — has begun work on a small drone that extend the range of an AIM-120 air-to-air missile. The “Flying Missile Rail” could help U.S. Air Force and Navy fighters match and even exceed the ever-increasing range of... Read more
The U.S. Air Force Was Not Fond of the Next-Gen Predator Drone
This story originally appeared on Nov. 13, 2014. In April 2009 General Atomics—the California-based manufacturer of the Predator drone—debuted a new and improved, jet-powered version of the iconic robot warplane. But for all its improvements, the Predator C—or Avenger—fell flat with its biggest prospective client, the U.S. Air Force.... Read more
U.S. Air Force Commandos Practice Refueling, Rearming F-15s
On July 26, 2017, U.S. Air Force commandos in the United Kingdom practiced deploying to an austere airfield to quickly refuel and rearm F-15C fighters. It was the first time that Air Force special operators and their MC-130 transports had teamed up with F-15C fighters at a so-called “Forward... Read more
The U.S. Air Force Is Still Quietly Killing Off the A-10
The U.S. Air Force is putting on a great publicity show for their impending Light Attack Experiment, a.k.a. OA-X. Officially, this small-scale experiment is meant only to demonstrate the capabilities of four low-cost, off-the-shelf, lightly armed aircraft against lightly defended enemies such as Islamic State or the Taliban. Quite... Read more
Por qué el A-10 Warthog continúa siendo el rey del Apoyo Aéreo Cercano
Conocido por su capacidad para continuar volando tras recibir varios disparos de ametralladora, aterrizar y operar en terrenos difíciles, destruir combatientes enemigos con su ametralladora de 30 milímetros y desplegar un amplio arsenal de armas de ataque, los pilotos pintan al A-10 como un «carro de combate volador» que... Read more
The U.S. Air Force Wants to Expand the Range of This Stealthy Cruise Missile
With advanced air defense systems such as the Russian-made S-300 and S-400 families proliferating around the world, it is becoming increasingly difficult for American aircraft to penetrate into airspace defended by such anti-access/area-denial weapons. While advanced fifth-generation fighter aircraft and next-generation platforms such as the U.S. Air Force’s forthcoming B-21 Raider and Penetrating Counter Air will... Read more
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