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The F-22 Mission in Afghanistan: Overkill or Realistic Training?

undercover JIX

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Stealth A/C can hide or themselves on radar or Jam radar and detection electronics. I was in UAE when first time B2 came for IDEX on its approach all radars etc went down untill it landed. when it comes to stealth its not only the metal or paint its a complex combination of different measures.

Pakistan used to have mobile radar stations all around including humint. I dont know if still operational. We Pak need multi dimensional approach to counter these advance threats.
 

LeGenD

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Stealth A/C can hide or themselves on radar or Jam radar and detection electronics. I was in UAE when first time B2 came for IDEX on its approach all radars etc went down untill it landed. when it comes to stealth its not only the metal or paint its a complex combination of different measures.
Scary and enlightening at the same time. You also put it nicely; stealth is not just about the design of the aircraft or RAM coating.

This is one of the ways to do it. They have other methods as well.
 

undercover JIX

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Scary and enlightening at the same time. You also put it nicely; stealth is not just about the design of the aircraft or RAM coating.

This is one of the ways to do it. They have other methods as well.
I will say it, we are very emotional when it comes to defending Pakistan and religion and i see no problem when we are talking to a non Pakistani etc but we should have open mind when discussing our weaknesses and strengths. If we do not discuss our weak points then how we will find a solution.

I call it one way traffic only on some people head/brain/mind, only outgoing they do not even try to understand and thing about incoming views.

we have a history with USA and our civil and Mil top brass. we must consider that instead of jumping on every statement.
Thanks.
 

Hammad ur Rehman

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I have been saying that this mission did not required use of F-22 but they may have wanted to check PAF's detection capabilities & familiarize pilots with our airspace & terrain.

This mission could be a precursor to the possible future air war with Pakistan as they would not land marines & start a land war which will be very expensive.
 

Mahmood-ur-Rehman

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Adan
The F-22 Mission in Afghanistan: Overkill or Realistic Training?
Oriana Pawlyk November 21, 2017

Three years ago, the F-22 Raptor made its combat debut in Syria.

The idea was for the fifth-generation fighter to use its stealth technology to evade detection from surface-to-air missile batteries in a contested region. But the Syrians apparently had no plans to fire on U.S. aircraft, at least before the Russians entered the battlespace. So the twin-engine aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air superiority took on a different role in the fight: serve as a high-altitude reconnaissance platform and major airborne command post.

Similarly, when the Raptor made its combat debut on Sunday in Afghanistan, the jet conducted a ground-attack mission, pummelling suspected drug labs in the country with small diameter bombs, Air Force officials said.

While some observers criticized the mission as overkill and a waste of resources, officials inside and outside of the Air Force said it served a purpose by employing particular munitions designed to minimize collateral damage and by offering realistic training to learn more about how the weapon system performs in combat scenarios.

“We opted to use the F-22 for this operation because of its ability to carry the small diameter bomb that was necessary to keep collateral damage to an absolute minimum, and because the SDBs needed for the operation were located there with the aircraft,” Lt. Col Damien Pickart, spokesman for Air Forces Central Command, said in response to an email from Military.com.

At the onset, the decision to use the Raptor seemed puzzling, as the Taliban and militants in region do not have the sophisticated weaponry the aircraft was built to dodge.

The F-22s were joined by B-52 Stratofortresses and Afghan A-29 Super Tucanos to conduct an expanded strike mission — called the new offensive campaign — against the Taliban’s revenue stream, said Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission and U.S. Forces Afghanistan.

When asked about the strike, Nicholson said the Raptor was employed “because of its ability to deliver precision munitions.”

Realistic Training

But it’s not just about the weapons they employ — it’s also extra practice for pilots, according to at least one defense analyst in Washington, D.C.

“We’re using F-22s in Afghanistan for the same reason the Russians are using their latest bombers and ships and missiles in Syria: Realistic training,” the source told Military.com on background. “We both have a generation of weapons that we haven’t used in combat, and the more we can learn about how they actually work as opposed to how they work on our test ranges, the better equipped will be for when it’s not a permissive fight.”

When the U.S. is fighting a war, the analyst added, “it’s not about choosing the cheapest weapon — it’s about using the one that will get there when you need it with what you need aboard.”

Granted, the military has a number of aircraft — the F/A-18E/F and F-15E Strike Eagle — that can drop the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb, a precision-guided glide bomb developed by Boeing Co.

“But if [U.S. Central Command] is to be believed, many of them were busy elsewhere,” the source said. “To a commander, it’s silly to have a usable asset and not use it just because you think it may be overqualified.”

Refueling Support

F-22s began the mission, Pickart said, and F-16 Fighting Falcons continued the operation as the bombing runs kept rolling.

Refueling tankers — including KC-135 Stratotankers from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, and KC-10 Extenders from Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates — provided refueling support for the Raptors.

“These aircraft were used to refuel aircraft coming from both locations, as well as fuel other aircraft operating in the theater during” the strikes, between Nov. 19 and 20, Pickart said.

The command used tankers in Afghanistan for the F-16s to distribute support, he said.

“The KC-135s based out of Kandahar, [Afghanistan], provided refueling support for F-16s conducting routine close air support and strike missions that continued in Afghanistan while this new offensive was underway,” the spokesman said.

He added, that throughout the night between Nov. 20 and 21, the Air Force conducted “additional strikes on narcotic facilities using F-16s based out of Bagram and they were supported by the Kandahar-based KC-135s.”

More Airstrikes

The F-22s launched from Al Dhafra, where the planes reside for operations in the Middle East. The Raptors are part of the 95th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron out of Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. Whether commanders will use the Raptors again for another mission in the country remains to be seen.

Earlier this year, the military dropped the most powerful conventional bomb in the U.S. arsenal — the 21,600-pound GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) nicknamed “mother of all bombs” — in Afghanistan in the first-ever use of the munition in combat. But the MOAB hasn’t made a comeback — yet.

Meantime, the number of strikes from F-16s and MQ-9 Reaper aircraft in the country are on the rise. The Air Force dropped more than 900 weapons in August and September combined, up from 270 for the same timeframe last year, according to AFCENT’s latest airpower summary.

“We’ve used airpower — dropped more munitions this year than any year since 2012,” Nicholson said on Monday. “We did this because the Afghans were on the offensive more. And so we were able to get out there in a pre-planned manner, bringing in assets to assist, to deliver a lot of munitions.”

He added, “We’ve been very robust in our use of airpower in support of the Afghans on the offensive this year.”


Since F-22s, B-52s & tankers flew from Al Udeid (Qatar) & Al Dhafra (UAE) air bases to attack targets in Kandahar area of Afghanistan, they must have overflown our Balochistani air space, did PAF knew in advance, or only tracked B-52s & failed to track F-22s or did they also tracked F-22s (but it may remain classified)???

I understand that we have given them blanket over flight rights but stealthy F-22s flying in Pakistani air space is interesting.
Dangerous development for Pakistan.Now Pakistan need better surveillance system on its western border needs real time flights intelligence of F22 need 2 sq of J31 or J20 in emergency
 

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