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New U.S. F-22 stealth fighters deployed near Iran VIDEO - 4/28/2012 7:20:48 AM   
michaelisin4u

 

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New U.S. F-22 stealth fighters deployed near Iran VIDEO

By JohnThomas Didymus
Apr 27, 2012 - 9 hours ago in World

The U.S. has deployed its most advanced stealth jet fighters to an allied base only 200 miles from Iran's mainland. F-22 Raptors that have never been tested under combat conditions are now stationed at the Al Dafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates.

The Al Dafra base, according to ABC News, is only 800 miles from Tehran, within the range of the F-22, which can travel at one and a half times the speed of sound. Wired.com reports the U.S. has been quietly assembling a powerful air-to-air fighting team at bases near Iran. Before the F-22s were deployed, the Air Force deployed the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 104th Fighter Wing, with 20 F-15Cs, to Southwest Asia.

ABC News reports Air Force spokesperson, Lt. Col. John Dorrian, would not confirm the exact location of the fighters but said they had been deployed to a base in Southwest Asia. He claimed, however, that the fighter jets were only involved in a "scheduled deployment" and that they are "no threat to Iran." Aviation Week reports that a statement by service spokesman Capt. Phil Ventura, said: “The United States Air Force has deployed F-22s to Southwest Asia. Such deployments strengthen military-to-military relationships, promote sovereign and regional security, improve combined tactical air operations and enhance interoperability of forces, equipment and procedures."

Dorrian also would not say exactly what the mission of the F-22 jets was and he would not say how many jets were deployed for operational security reasons. But according to Dorrian, with its "next generation capabilities," any number of the jets deployed is significant.

The jets have been officially combat operational since 2005 but were not used in Iraq or in Afghanistan.

According to ABC News, Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin's vice president for the F-22 program, said the fighters could be used in "deep penetration strike missions in well-defended combat zones inside places like North Korea or Iran." An aviation industry expert told Aviation Week: “The F-22 is unlike any other fighter in the world and our friends and potential adversaries know it. When we deployed the F-22s to Guam and Japan, everybody in Asia and the Pacific paid attention.”

Although Air Force officials say the plane has not been used in operations because it hasn't been needed, ABC News reports pilots have complained of "hypoxia-like symptoms" during flights. The jets were grounded for five months to investigate the problem.

One of the pilots of the plane Jeff Haney, was killed in a crash during a training mission in Alaska in 2010. His oxygen supply was cut off shortly before the crash and the reason why this happened is still being investigated.

In spite of these major problems, Air Force Maj. Gen. Noel Jones, Director of Operational Capability Requirements, said at a Pentagon briefing in March: "If our nation needs a capability to enter contested air space, to deal with air forces that are trying to deny our forces the ability to maneuver without prejudice on the ground, it will be the F-22 that takes on that mission. It can do that right now and is able to do that without hesitation."

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/323814
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RE: New U.S. F-22 stealth fighters deployed near Iran V... - 4/28/2012 7:43:12 AM   
michaelisin4u

 

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UAE-based F-22s A Signal To Iran

By Amy Butler
Source: AWIN First
April 26 , 2012

As tensions between Tehran, Washington and Tel Aviv continue to mount over Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons technologies, the U.S. has quietly begun a deployment of its premier stealthy fighter, the twin-engine F-22, to the United Arab Emirates.

Multiple Lockheed Martin aircraft will operate out of Al Dhafra Air Base there, industry sources say. This is the same base from which U.S. U-2s and Global Hawk UAVs have been launched since shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“The United States Air Force has deployed F-22s to Southwest Asia,” according to a statement from service spokesman Capt. Phil Ventura. “Such deployments strengthen military-to-military relationships, promote sovereign and regional security, improve combined tactical air operations and enhance interoperability of forces, equipment and procedures.” Ventura declined to specify what the aircraft’s mission is for this deployment.

Because of the F-22’s supercruise — or high, efficient rate of speed — stealth, thrust-vectoring and inherent intelligence-collection capabilities, it is considered the most sophisticated fighter in the world. Deploying it to any region causes residents there to take note, says one industry executive. The timing of the Persian Gulf deployment could be a signal from the U.S. to Iran to take seriously objections to the latter’s nuclear weapons ambitions.

“The F-22 is unlike any other fighter in the world and our friends and potential adversaries know it,” the executive says. “When we deployed the F-22s to Guam and Japan, everybody in Asia and the Pacific paid attention.”

The F-22 Raptor has conducted numerous deployments to the Pacific region, and in December 2009 traveled to southwest Asia for its first deployment there to shadow an international warfighting exercise, though it did not directly participate. One former F-22 program official notes that more deployments to desert regions are needed to keep maintainers current on sustaining the jets in such harsh conditions.

Though the F-22 has been deployed before, it has yet to see combat since it was declared operational in 2005; the high cost of the fighter is likely a reason for the Pentagon’s unwillingness to expose it to combat in a campaign such as Libya unless its high-end qualities are absolutely necessary for a mission. But the fighter has also been plagued by problems with its onboard oxygen-generation system.

Next week, Lockheed will host a ceremony to commemorate the final F-22 (No. 4195) exiting the Marietta, Ga., production line, closing a major chapter for Air Force procurement history and for Lockheed.

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_04_26_2012_p0-452466.xml

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RE: New U.S. F-22 stealth fighters deployed near Iran V... - 4/28/2012 7:55:18 AM   
michaelisin4u

 

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U.S. deploys stealth jets to air base in Southwest Asia

By Walter Pincus, Published: April 27

The United States has deployed a number of stealth jets, its most modern, fifth-generation fighter bomber, to an air base in Southwest Asia, according to the Air Force.

The service would not say where the F-22 Raptors would be based, but the U.S. military has recently moved other assets into the Persian Gulf amid concerns about a confrontation with Iran.

An Air Force spokesman, Capt. Phil Ventura, described the deployment as “regularly scheduled” activity being undertaken to strengthen military-to-military relationships, regional security and work on “tactical interoperability.”

He said the number of F-22s involved and the length of their deployment were not being released to protect operational security.

The transfer of warplanes to the gulf comes as the United States and five other world powers are preparing for critical talks with Iran on proposed curbs to its nuclear program. At a meeting two weeks ago, Iran agreed to discuss its nuclear future without preconditions, and senior Iranian officials have since hinted at a willingness to scale back portions of the country’s program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

Despite the more conciliatory tone, the Obama administration has sought to keep up the pressure on Tehran, warning that the economic pain will worsen unless Iranian leaders agree to broad changes to ensure that Iran’s nuclear facilities cannot be used to make nuclear weapons. Iran has consistently claimed that its nuclear program is peaceful. The next round of negotiations have been scheduled for May 23 in Baghdad.

Last month, amid Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, told reporters that the U.S. military would be doubling to eight the number of its minesweepers in the region. He also said four more CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters with mine-detection capability would be sent to the region.

Also last month, new F-15 fighter jets with the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard were sent on their first overseas deployment to an undisclosed Central Command location. At a ceremony marking their departure, Col. Robert Brooks, the unit commander, said that “should Iran test the 104th,” the unit would be ready, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Aviation Week, which first reported the deployment of the Raptors, quoted industry sources as saying the planes would operate out of Al Dhafra Air Base near Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

The Al Dhafra base is already being used by KC-10 refueling aircraft, along with U.S. surveillance aircraft such as the piloted U-2 and the unmanned Global Hawk.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-deploys-stealth-jets-to-air-base-in-southwest-asia/2012/04/27/gIQARpHamT_story.html

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