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690 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  HAT1701D
The current issue of FSM has a 1 page article inside the back cover that says the USAirForce is going to retire the F-117.
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I was suprised at this. I mean aren't there older aircraft that are still in service? I know the Raptor is out but still. :(
Yup, it's been in the news for a couple years now. It's really 20-year-old obsolete technology. The F-22, and eventually the F35, will be able to do the same thing better.
Yes indeed. I have had the privledge of being around the F-117, not at airshows....but on active duty. I have pictures in my scrapbook taken at Dhaharan Saudi, Arabia in 1992 while on my second deployment to the Gulf. I was informed that I was the first person that was not a member of Lockheed, the contractors or special Air Force personel allowed to photograph the "platypus" exhaust system up close.....Ahh, those were the days.

But yes, back on topic...the F-117 is very dated now. You must understand, the F-117 while carrying the "F" designation for fighter is purely a bomber. It lacks any self defensive armerment (no gun or missiles) and is subsonic only. This makes the aircraft an easy target if spotted visualy by an enemy. Hence why it was used at night only. This was further pointed out during 1998/99(?) when one was succesfully targeted and shot down over Kosovo.

The F-22 is a fully integrated weapons platform...both air to air and ground to ground, it even has the traditional gun. It has not only supersonic capabilty but can do it without afterburner not to mention that like the F-117, it is "stealth".

The F-35 will have much in common with it's bigger sibling the F-22...except no "super cruise"...and the fact that the Marine variant will have VTOL capability like the retiring Harrier.

The F-117 may be retiring...but it is bowing out with dignity and not for lack of spawning a fantastic second generation of "stealth".

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