This may clarify a few things about the raid and why the F-22 was used...
Yes Syria was notified about the raid. we all know that now.
This picture kinda sums it up for us:
This is a F-16CJ carrying AGM-88 HARM's, AIM-120 AMRAAM's, and AIM-9X sidewinders tanking off of a KC-135 (from MacDill AFB) shortly before the raid.
So we have our most advanced air to air fighter ever created carrying 1000 pound JDAM's and F-16CJ's supporting the wild weasel and air to air role in
case Syria launched aircraft or turned on their missile defense.
From the article:
Asked at that press conference about the posture of Syria's air defences, Lieutenant General William Mayville, the director of operations for
the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: "I won't get into specifically what we know they did, but I think it would be fair to say [they only used] passive
radar [last night]."
Besides the F-16CJ's waiting around for Syria's radar to switch from passive to active, how the hell did we know that their radar was passive only all
Anyways, an EA-6B was seen on the USS George Bush being prepared for launch along with the F-18's as well. It seems like even though we told Syria
about it, they were still worried about them launching weapons or jets at the coalition force.
Also, just to clarify, the first strike happened in three waves with the first being the launch of 47 Tomahawks from the USS Arleigh Burke and the USS
Philippine Sea. One interesting note about the launches is that the Arleigh was in the Red Sea and had to launch missiles over Saudi, Jordanian, and
Iraqi airspace. The Philippine Sea was in the Persion Gulf so it only had to fire through Iraqi airspace. This could have posed a problem with about
20 tankers circling in northern Iraq for the duration of the air strikes. Its kind of cool to see tomahawks wiz through the sky to their targets. I
was in the air about 50 miles south of Baghdad in 2003 during the first launches of tomahawks and stealths. It was really a cool site.
The second wave consisted of the raptors, B-1B's, F-16CJ's, Strike Eagles and some unmanned aircraft joining as well. Then finally the third wave sent
the F/A-18's and F-16's in, as well as the other countries aircraft that were participating in the strikes.
Another interesting note, these tomahawks that were fired were the first of their kind to be launched at a target. They can even provide BDA and even
loiter while receiving updated targeting information. For a million bucks a pop they better! Here's the link for that:
So my assessment is this: If they sent in raptors with F-16CJ's then all they did was get the raptors beak wet. It seems like they were worried about
the air defense, yet raptors could have snuck in, dropped its bombs, and snuck out, saving the money that it took to keep the CJ's flying. Dont get me
wrong, Im excited that the raptor flew its first combat sortie (well declassified combat sortie), but they could have done this without sending in
CJ's and other aircraft like that.
Also, since they sent in stealths and were worried about the air defense, yes the RQ-180 was most likely the jet used to provide all the info they
needed. Its flying out of the deid right now so it would make sense that it would be used. Keep in mind, the RQ-180 is a very large aircraft, with a
wingspan close to that of the B-2. Its also capable of staying aloft for long periods of time (alledgely) and, this is pure speculation, but i
wouldn't be surprised if it carried a few bombs or missiles itself.
Anyway, just my opinion...
edit on 27-9-2014 by boomer135 because: (no reason given)
edit on 27-9-2014 by boomer135 because:
Because Zaphod is a perfectionist