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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 StinkyWhizzleTeeth on 3/24/2011 3:29:57 AM , Rating: 4
Your #1 point is a False Argument!

You've got things backwards. The onus of evidence is on those who want to go to war, not those who do NOT want to go to war. Otherwise we would be in a perpetual state of war... oh wait...

RE: Um, no
By Azethoth on 3/24/2011 4:59:38 AM , Rating: 2
Who cares about the WMD. It is such a stupid argument. The fact is Sadam actually had WMD (chemical & bio & trying to get nuclear) and actually used (chemical) in well documented attacks against his own people and the Iranians in their war. This is proven fact with actual people dead from gas attacks that you can go autopsy for chemicals.

The weird thing is not that we went in and found no WMD, the weird thing is that Sadam actually got rid of his WMD. I mean wtf? Nobody, and by that I mean nobody on the entire earth, had any idea back then that he got rid of them. Not me, not you, not the press, not the CIA, MI5, any other country than Iraq, the Pope, Chris Angel, Angelina Jolie. Not even that psychic lady on late night television knew.

RE: Um, no
By StinkyWhizzleTeeth on 3/24/2011 4:17:40 PM , Rating: 2
Again, another example of someone putting the cart before the horse. We shouldn't be going to war without solid evidence. Those who got us into this mess should've gotten throwing at of office simply because they proved themselves, at best, to be so idiotically gullible on multiple occassions.

What you're referring to is called the Power of Nightmares. Create Fear, Uncertainty, and doubt (FUD), in order to get the American people behind spending an exorbitant amount of money on so called "Defense", policing the world, pre-emptive wars, and nation building. I'm not denigrating their motivations of doing this, but it makes me question how aware they are of the subconscious temptation of immoral greed.

Anyways, check out the documentary called The Power of Nightmares. I think you can find it at

RE: Um, no
By SPOOFE on 3/24/2011 4:23:08 PM , Rating: 1
We shouldn't be going to war without solid evidence.

The "solid evidence" is Saddam Hussein stymied the efforts of UN weapons inspectors. In 1998 this prompted Bill Clinton to launch cruise missiles into the country, to nary a voice of complaint (despite the fact that it's kinda hard to capture someone with a cruise missile). In 2003 it happened again, but since it wasn't their boy doing the fighting, liberals have been butt-hurt about it ever since.

I remember the 2003 SOTU address: Dubya gave us half a dozen solid reasons for kicking Saddam's ass, and the only one most every critic has been able to remember has been "WMD's!"

RE: Um, no
By StinkyWhizzleTeeth on 3/24/2011 5:44:37 PM , Rating: 2
That's not solid evidence. What you have there is presumption. By that same logic you would say that anyone who refuses to a police search is automatically guilty.

Presumption is a sign of mental disease, even if it is celebrated in our country. People seem to be so scared of the boogeyman that we can't deal with the realizations that we know far less than we really do. Let's seperate our assumptions and opinions from our facts. BTW, I'm not a liberal.

If you would be so kind, please give me those other half dozen reasons that President Bush brought up. What I remember him saying is that Saddam was looking to ally with terrorists, that we can't wait until we see a mushroom cloud, and that they are part of the axis of evil, and that Saddam wants to harm America. None of those are either true, possible, or examples of his past behavior.

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