USAF moves Raptors to Saudi Arabia

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element1loop

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Unread post24 Oct 2019, 07:53

USAF moves Raptors to Saudi Arabia

Jeremy Binnie, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

23 October 2019

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper talks to pilots in front of an F-22 Raptor at Prince Sultan Air Base on 22 October. Source: Office of the Secretary of Defense Public Affairs

The US Air Force has deployed F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to Prince Sultan Air Base (PSAB) in central Saudi Arabia. An F-22 was seen making a low pass over the base in a video clip tweeted by US Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT) on 22 October. "The ability of fighter jets to operate at locations like PSAB demonstrates AFCENT and CENTCOM [Central Command] commitment to providing a credible, capable, and dynamic defence posture in the Middle East," it said.

Two Raptors were also seen on the ground at the base in photographs taken during a visit by US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on 22 October. They were next to clamshell aircraft hangars that could not be seen in open-source satellite imagery of PSAB in June, indicating temporary structures have been erected to support the deployment. One of the Raptors (157) was previously seen deployed to Al Udeid Air Base in July along with elements from the 1st Fighter Wing and 192nd Wing.

Esper was seen meeting four pilots, three of whom were wearing badges of the 27th Fighter Squadron, part of the 1st Fighter Wing. A fourth pilot was wearing the badge of Electronic Attack Squadron 134 (VAQ-143), a US Navy EA-18G Growler unit. Other personnel - many of them from the US Navy - were identified as aircraft maintainers, suggesting naval aircraft have been deployed to PSAB.

The US military returned to PSAB in July, when a Patriot air defence battery was deployed there as part of a wider effort to deter Iran. At the time, US officials briefed journalists that US personnel were preparing the base to handle US fighter jets. They said PSAB provides the "defensive depth" beyond the range of Iranian missiles.

https://www.janes.com/article/92111/usa ... udi-arabia
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mixelflick

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Unread post24 Oct 2019, 14:34

A nice message to Iran, and adds significantly to SA's already monster air to air mix of Typhoon's and F-15C's/SA's.

Hopefully, the Iranian's take note and settle down again. Amazing what the presence of just a few F-22's can do. And every day that ticks by, Israel takes delivery of more F-35's. The middle east air arms/USAF deployments sure are lethal. And that doesn't take into account x number of carrier battle groups regularly deployed with SH's (and soon, F-35C's).
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charlielima223

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Unread post24 Oct 2019, 19:50

Are the F-22s there as part of a "Rapid Raptor" deployment? I wonder if we're going to see another "Top Gun moment" where an F-22 sneaks up on an Iranian aircraft or drone and convinces it to go home. Either way having them there sends a strong message.
Personally I would rather hear or read about F-22s performing a show of force against aggressive Turkish military units in an attempt to protect Kurdish allies.
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Unread post25 Oct 2019, 12:11

charlielima223 wrote:Are the F-22s there as part of a "Rapid Raptor" deployment? I wonder if we're going to see another "Top Gun moment" where an F-22 sneaks up on an Iranian aircraft or drone and convinces it to go home. Either way having them there sends a strong message.
Personally I would rather hear or read about F-22s performing a show of force against aggressive Turkish military units in an attempt to protect Kurdish allies.


Tough to say, based on the article. I'd bet no however, as I saw no mention of a C-17 which if I'm not mistaken is part of that package. What's incredible is that just the presence of 2 sets alarm bells off in an enemy's mind. 2 F-22's can do a lot of damage either to your air or ground assets. They may not fly many sorties, but even 1 has the potential to take down 16 of your best aircraft/pilots. And there's no guarantee there aren't more than 2 of them.

It would be I imagine, quite un-nerving to be an IIRAF F-14 (or any) pilot right now LOL. You could say the same about the F-35 though, and it would be an even bigger threat to your ground assets...

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