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Baddest USAF fighter gets none in Libya  (Source: Air Force Times)
B-2 bombers flew without their Raptor escorts

The U.S. Air Force is engaged in Libya right now and it is using mostly older aircraft like the F-15E to do the heavy fighting and ground attacks. The B-2 stealth bomber was employed though and in many hostile airspace operations the B-2 would have been accompanied by the F-22 Raptor, the most capable air superiority fighter in the USAF arsenal.

However, in Libyan operations the B-2's have apparently flown on a mission without the help from the F-22Air Force Times reports that the reason the F-22 wasn't sent along with three B-2 bombers that bombed targets in Libya was a combination of the lack of need and the limitations of the F-22.

A flight of three B-2 bombers left Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to make bombing runs in Libya on March 20. Generally, Air Force doctrine would have the B-2s fly with F-22s for protection from enemy fighters. The Air Force Times reports that USAF Maj. Eric Hilliard, spokesman for Africa Command said, "I see no indication that F-22s were used as an escort for the B-2 nor do I see anything that indicates the Raptor will be used in future missions over Libya."

Analyst Mark Gunzinger of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis on Washington said, "Frankly, they [F-22s] might not be needed. Libya’s defenses were not that robust to begin with and were rolled back quite handily."

Other than the F-22s not being needed, perhaps a more telling reason was that the limited capabilities of the Libyan air force have kept the vaunted fighter on the sidelines. Libya fields mostly older fighters and the F-22's performance and capabilities weren’t needed. The F-22 also has a very limited capability to communicate with other coalition aircraft operating in Libya by design. Radio emission from data links that would enable the Raptor to communicate with other fighters would also potentially give the position of the stealthy F-22 away.

Analyst Loren Thompson from the Lexington Institute said, "The designers of the F-22 had a dilemma, which is whether to have the connectivity that would allow versatility or to have the radio silence that would facilitate stealthiest. What they opted for was a limited set of tactical data links."

The F-22 as it is now can only communicate with other F-22's via a data links during flights. Other than the communications issue, the F-22 also has limited capability to hit ground targets. This is to be expected in an air superiority fighter. The F-22 is capable of carrying a pair of 1,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions guided by GPS. It’s can't carry the 250-pound Small Diameter Bombs that the F-15E Strike Eagle and other aircraft can use. The F-22 also lacks that ability to create synthetic aperture maps of the earth surface that are used to select ground targets.

There were plans to add the ability of the F-22 to use the Multifunction Advanced Data-link the F-35 will use, but the finding for that program was pulled last year. That capability would have come in the Increment 3.2 software update for the F-22 and would have also added the ability for the F-22 to target eight ground targets at once.

In 2009, the Senate also pulled funding for additional F-22 fighters.



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RE: Um, no
By Iaiken on 3/23/2011 6:31:59 PM , Rating: 4
Now I don't want to alarm you, but you're a both moron as well as a liar by proxy for attempting to sell this article as proof of a weapons program.

That this material was part of a weapons program is a complete and utter fabrication that both the government of Canada and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (who approved the purchase) have categorically denied. The materials existence and it's quantities had been known to the government of Canada since 1991. How? Because everyone knew about this particular quantity of uranium...

The Uranium that was sold to Cameco was dated to 1991 at the latest and was under the supervision of UN inspectors since that time. The material was neither a secret nor was it recently discovered or recently acquired. All of this material was in sealed storage and had been documented and inventoried since 1991. This material was left over from failed research reactors that were destroyed in 1981 (by Israel) and 1991 (by the US).

This is therefore NOT the same uranium that Bush alleged Iraq had purchased in the years immediately before the war in order to resume the development of a nuclear weapons program. There is no evidence whatsoever that an actual purchase ever took place nor evidence of the facilities, equipment or the expertise required to undertake such an endeavor.

Any attempt to infer that this particular quantity of uranium was proof that Bush not a liar is logically and intellectually bankrupt.

The only purported evidence in existence is an Italian intelligence document that states Iraqi officials were attempting to purchase uranium in Niger. A document that was itself much criticized for it's chronological inaccuracies (such as being signed by people who were not in office at the indicated date).


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