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USAF Deploying F-22 Raptors To Okinawa, Japan

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posted on Jan, 10 2007 @ 03:52 PM
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The US Air Force recently announced that it will soon deploy 12 Raptors from the 27th FS to Kadena AFB, Okinawa. The deployment is to last several months and while there the Raptors will train with the Japanese AF, USAF F-15's and the US Navy. This will be the first time the F-22 has been deployed abroad to another nation and the first time that it exercises with foreign forces.


The U.S. Air Force plans to send its most advanced jet fighter, the F-22 Raptor, abroad for the first time when it deploys 12 of the planes to Kadena AFB on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa this month.



Image Link

Gen. Paul V. Hester, Pacific Air Forces commander, said the planes will train with Japan's air force, U.S. F-15s, and the U.S. Navy while deployed in Japan.

The planes, based at Langley Air Force Base, are expected to stay in Okinawa for a few months. More than 250 personnel will accompany them.

The U.S. military presence in the region will thus also get a serious boost and will definitely grab the attention of North Korea, which lies less than 1,000 miles from the island.

Source


Personally I find this to be quite interesting, sending the F-22 abroad so soon to train with a foreign nation. Not to mention the North Korea situation (they may test a second nuke), I feel this and the F-117 deployment can't be a coincidence. Both are aimed at being a show of force and reassurance for our Allies.

Another thing to keep in mind is the reaction, or lack thereof, of China. They know what the F-22 brings to the table but we're trying to show that we can rapidly deploy in theater and sustain such operations. It also highlights our close and mutual relationship with Japan, in time of war I have no doubt that all of its facilities and support systems would be availabe to the US.

----------------

And while we're on the topic of the F-22 Raptor, I cannot pass up this opportunity to post a highly informative article from Aviation Week regarding the F-22 at Operation Northern Edge (Alaska). It's a follow up to the previous article I posted about this exercise. Read it, you will be surprised and in awe...


F-22 In Northern Edge (Part 2)

EDIT: Just to add, at the end of that AW article there is a short video.

Dominance


[edit on 10-1-2007 by WestPoint23]




posted on Jan, 10 2007 @ 04:22 PM
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That is one bad boy plane!

(Don't sell it to Israel though or the Chinese will have all the juicy stuff out of it double quick.)

Great post. enjoyed reading it...Cheers!



posted on Jan, 10 2007 @ 05:17 PM
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Kadena AB is were there headed .

www.kadena.af.mil...

And from there (if needed )they would head to Kunsan AB .

www.kunsan.af.mil...



posted on Jan, 10 2007 @ 08:49 PM
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hmmmm

so the american side is preparing for the possible taiwan straight war as well...



posted on Jan, 11 2007 @ 12:44 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Personally I find this to be quite interesting, sending the F-22 abroad so soon to train with a foreign nation. Not to mention the North Korea situation (they may test a second nuke), I feel this and the F-117 deployment can't be a coincidence. Both are aimed at being a show of force and reassurance for our Allies.


Oh yes, its quite obvious now; with these pincer deployment strategies at Kadena and Kunsan. The Kunsan was a little old and so the deployment could have been conceived to be 'normal', but this is a definite 'play of cards'.
Also it could possibly serve the dual purpose of marketing th F-22 the JASDF(I remember them being potential customers if Congress allowed it..)
Hope it doesn't pressurise the Norkians(I like that and mean no offence
) into doing something aggressive in a direct response to these deployments.



Another thing to keep in mind is the reaction, or lack thereof, of China. They know what the F-22 brings to the table but we're trying to show that we can rapidly deploy in theater and sustain such operations.


They're(chinese) studying the situation you can be assured.
And the JASDF/USAF better have top-notch security at Kadena AFB for the very same reasons I've stated in F-117 Kunsan thread. I can bet that they(chinese/Norkians/even Russians maybe..) will be tempted to get the best out of this backyard treasure trove.
Norkian and Russian agent activity in Japan has always been very very high and one can presume the Chinese aren't sleeping either.


It also highlights our close and mutual relationship with Japan, in time of war I have no doubt that all of its facilities and support systems would be availabe to the US.


On a different note if you remember, this is EXACTLY what I was trying to explain to Chinawhite in one heated thread(I think Westpoint interjected once there). There is the equivalent of approx. ~500-1000 strong 4th gen fighter force(estimates vary due to variables like a/c gen ranging between 3rd-5th,political alignments and geographical logistical deployability) of the Chinese east coast just meant to contain China(reassure Taiwan) and Norkia.
This is preceisely why China counts on Pakistan to serve as a deterrent for India, and thus it(China)does not explicitly commit high-end fighter resources specifically to the Indian theater.



And while we're on the topic of the F-22 Raptor, I cannot pass up this opportunity to post a highly informative article from Aviation Week regarding the F-22 at Operation Northern Edge (Alaska). It's a follow up to the previous article I posted about this exercise. Read it, you will be surprised and in awe...



Yep a good article.. Some thoughts on it:

1)In all WVR kills (I'm sure it obviously implies the same for the BVR realm) the F-22 was never 'seen' until it executed the kill. So stealth is the key here.. I mean its definitely more pivotal than the WVR manueverability offered by the Raptor.
Maybe the USAF should try some Red Flag Exs where the Raptor has an intentional location transmitter so that it is aggressively engaged by 3rd/4th gen red forces and a proper furrball dogfight ensues. Here you will get what the Raptor can do in terms of manueverability when its foe has parity in terms of situational awareness. Maybe this can be tried out for Raptor vs Raptor or something or whatever.. bottomline is offer the foe equal footing on situational awareness(by equal footing I mean don't mean give it the avionics capabilities of the Raptor but remove the stealth advantage) and then see what the Raptor can do.
See its simple: You(Air combat tactician/fighter pilot/QFI) only depend so much on what your intel tells you about radar capabilities/advancements of the Chinese and Russians(or anybody else for that matter). You need to prepare your pilots to deal with situations where they may NOT be at a complete technological advantage so that they can give their best even when faced with such situations.
Maybe they already did this at Northen Edge.. who knows!


2) The bit about the F-22 acting as a mini-AWACS and relaying verbal feed to actual AWACS and lesser gen a/c:

This is great and it definitely acts as a force multiplier in terms of overall general situational awareness. Have the others(around the world) been doing it?
You bet!

I'm not going to take names of a/c and events because thats irrelevant but the fact is other AFs are developing flight combat tactics around scenarios where in a formation the 'super-fighter(s)' acts as a mini-AWACS and relays radar data-feed(note NOT verbal information) to lesser capable aircraft.

In the case of the F-22 with stealth/supercruise et all, the pilot is able to hover 'above' the battle theatre,perform CnC roles at that altitude, and then zip in for any targets it deems fit to engage.
In the case of a/c lacking stealth/supercruise, this role is executed in lesser capability(though sufficient) from a horizontal distance away from the battle theatre in order to avoid enemy detection.

And here I'd like to make another point to guys who posted in the Su-27 thread:
'Soviet-era(and so presumably tactics today) combat tactics for soviet/Russian aircraft were/are highly dependant on GCI and C4ISR'.. You guys are right but this was for a reason.. The VVS(Soviet AF) doctrine was initially(until fighters like the MiG29 and Su27+ came into play) to provide CAS for advancing Soviet ground forces and home fleet defense against NATO/USAF bombers. In these scenarios(esp homeland air defense) Soviet GCI would have 90% situational awareness 100% of the time. So this was never a 'drawback' as such. Deep interdiction missions(where GCI support would be minimal)were never a part of the soviet air combat training regime . Also here's another thing: The VVS was essentially made up of two types of fighter roles : the FA and the PVO.
The PVO was designated for home air defense and these were the guys that flew completely within the framework offered by GCI.
Now the FA(Frontal Aviation) were the guys based in forward areas and these were the top-brass of the VVS. These guys I believe had a separate training regime and operated in a more autonomous fashion as compared to the PVO. The 120 IAP was one such FA sqn and was deployed in East Germany I think: obviously they were the best their country had to offer and were tasked with roles that probably ranged from CAS/CAP to deep interdiction strikes to support advacing armored columns(minimal GCI support). These guys were feared and revered by NATO and for good reason. The FA in concert with the Soviet ground forces would have been an awesome invasion force.
Now with the introduction of the MiG-29 and the Su-27 and the advancements included like radar,missiles,avionics etc.; deep interdiction became much easier and much more autonomous.
Infact though many criticise the MiG-29 for the Soviet-short-legs syndrome(i.e. ridiculously inferior range),
IMHO(and that of the authors of certain articles I've been reading) it is not so much worse than the Su 27 in that aspect when you consider various points like positioning of fueltanks,radar and of course manueverability.
So the MiG-29 was/is good for deep interdiction as well if configured properly.
Moreover with the advent of Su-27 upgrades like the Su-30(MKI is the best of the lot of course!
.. no really!
) the dependancy on GCI has greatly reduced.
With powerful radars like the N011M/ZhukM interwoven into AWACS like the Phalcon(InAF) and KJ-2000(PLAAF) the GCI dependancies of the remainder of the aerial interdiction force (J-8s,J-10,J7E/F/P,MiG-21Bison,MiG-21Bis,MiG-27ML,MiG23BN,Mirage 2000,Jaguar etc) have greatly been reduced.
The Su27 variants flying in these AFs(and presumably the Russian AF) themselves serve as mini-relay AWACS.
Note: Since this 'data-feed sharing' happens in the InAF I presume it most definitely happens in the Russian AF(only doctrines may again be different here) and there's no doubt that the Chinese are working towards such a capability if they don't have it already. The only thing is that the Chinese currently don't have a fighter radar of N011M pedigree. I believe the best they have is the ZhukM. Maybe the J10 has something better?

Summary:
The Soviet dependancy on GCI may have been more than average but it wasn't necessarily a disadvantage esp because they flew to doctrines designed specifically for their goals.
Today there is very little dependancy on GCI and C4ISR for any Russian a/c for the reasons mentioned above.
This is exactly what I meant when I said that one should look beyond soviet GCI depedancy when analysing soviet/Russian a/c like the Su 27.
Look beyond geographically and in terms of time as well.

3)
The Raptor in conjunction with UCAVs bit: Where's ch1466?!!


Good read westpt..




[edit on 11-1-2007 by Daedalus3]



posted on Jan, 11 2007 @ 02:21 AM
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Originally posted by Daedalus3
Also it could possibly serve the dual purpose of marketing th F-22 the JASDF(I remember them being potential customers if Congress allowed it..)


Good point, I did not consider this possible implication. Japan is indeed regarded as a possible costumer should Congress allow foreign sales. Also, apart from marketing perhaps they can also learn what it takes to facilitate and maintain Raptors should they have a chance to buy some, they have prior experience with the A/C.


Originally posted by Daedalus3
On a different note if you remember, this is EXACTLY what I was trying to explain to Chinawhite in one heated thread(I think Westpoint interjected once there).


Yeah I recall that thread, I fully agree with you on this, bases/facilities, support systems (tankers/AWACS/transport/logistics) etc.. would all be shared between Japan and the US should conflict arise. Thus the joint forces that are (potentially) available are indeed significant and more than some wish to recognize.


Originally posted by Daedalus3
1)In all WVR kills (I'm sure it obviously implies the same for the BVR realm) the F-22 was never 'seen' until it executed the kill. So stealth is the key here.. I mean its definitely more pivotal than the WVR manueverability offered by the Raptor.


Yes definitely, I have read comments on this capability before but never of an actual case. The F-22 can merge from BVR to WVR (make a kill) and back without exposing itself as much as legacy A/C, do to stealth and superior situational awareness. However it is important to note that only three of it's 144 kills were WVR. It's not something Raptor pilots prefer to do but if they are outnumbered, and depleted of missiles and available forces, as they were. Should they spot an enemy tying to penetrate they might choose to kill them in WVR rather than let them go.


Originally posted by Daedalus3
Maybe they already did this at Northen Edge.. who knows!


Maybe, but I'm certain they have already done dissimilar training with the F-22, in terms of maneuvering, before. According to a Raptor pilot they would do (what by their standards was unrealistic) scenarios in which both fighters would merge with one another (visually) then begin ACM. They did this at Nellis, I'm sure, as part of their testing, evaluation and tactics development program. They train for "dog fighting" but they focus more on BVR because that is what they expect to do, the overwhelming majority of the time, that is. However I agree with you they should exercise for all possible scenarios, not just likely ones.


Originally posted by Daedalus3
Maybe the USAF should try some Red Flag Exs where the Raptor has an intentional location transmitter so that it is aggressively engaged by 3rd/4th gen red forces and a proper furrball dogfight ensues. Here you will get what the Raptor can do in terms of manueverability when its foe has parity in terms of situational awareness.


According to the same Raptor pilot I mentioned above they have already tried this, though not to the extent that you are suggesting. All Raptors have a built in transponder which beams their position to ATC or GCI. In fact, Raptors are almost always required to fly with their transponders on in civilian airspace. For anyone interested you can see them in the picture I posted above.

But anyway, they flew Raptors with transponders on during mock exercises against F-15 and F-16 aggressors squadrons, and from what I hear, it hardly made a difference. Raptors would beam their position to GCI and they would then tell the OPFOR what sector the F-22 was in. However this way they still retained their physical stealth features so in BVR it did not make a difference. Now, correct me if I'm wrong but you're suggesting that they somehow eliminate their stealth signature altogether; so that legacy A/C can track and target them the same as any other AC hence reaching a "similar" level of SA?

Anyway speaking of Red Flag, the 94th FS (the second operational Raptor squadron) will participate in the upcoming February Red Flag. It appears that the USAF is going on a showcase tour.


Another point to keep in mind is the sophistication and numbers of the simulated OPFOR. They always outnumbers the Raptors (at least four to one) and always outnumbered the Blue Force, at lest two to one. They had simulated double digit SAM systems, EW capability, and a wide variety of simulated long and short range missiles. The only thing I guess they didn't have (though it's not definite that they never gave the OPFOR such a capability) were AWACS.

Also, the article mentions significant (current and future) Raptor capability in the areas of ELINT, EW, SEAD, DEAD and recon. I have a feeling that as these capabilities progress and enhance they will become just as important (if not more so) than it ability to shoot A/C down.



posted on Jan, 11 2007 @ 04:04 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Now, correct me if I'm wrong but you're suggesting that they somehow eliminate their stealth signature altogether; so that legacy A/C can track and target them the same as any other AC hence reaching a "similar" level of SA?


Yes, that is exactly what I mean; wire the F-22 so that it shows as a normal blip on legacy fighter systems and then gauge manueverability.
I wonder how good the F-22s are themselves at picking up other F-22s with the famed AN/APG-77? If they aren't too good at that then even F-22 vs F-22
will not expose true WVR manueverability.



Another point to keep in mind is the sophistication and numbers of the simulated OPFOR. They always outnumbers the Raptors (at least four to one) and always outnumbered the Blue Force, at lest two to one.


Thats all great for media and Congress consumption but fighter pilots know better:
With today's targetting systems a simple advantage like acute manueverability can give you the opportunity to shoot down 2 or more targets in a WVR scenario if you've positioned yourself properly behind a enemy formation. With stealth that advantage is further exploited.



The only thing I guess they didn't have (though it's not definite that they never gave the OPFOR such a capability) were AWACS.


Correct, and they should for obvious reasons..
And was one EA 6B prowler sufficient to cover the actual jamming/EW capabilities of a/c like the MiG-29,Su-27,Su-30?
Again such questions are unanswerable because the simulation environment is again only as good as your intel on the real thing is..



posted on Jan, 11 2007 @ 08:58 AM
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One thing to consider about the F-22/F-117 deployments- in addition to the political show of force, it may also be useful for ESM purposes, to find out how well the stealth works.



posted on Jan, 11 2007 @ 09:07 AM
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Great picture.


To me 12 sounds pretty little? or is it just me. I would have thought they would have sent m ore fighters.



posted on Jan, 11 2007 @ 02:47 PM
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Originally posted by Figher Master FIN
To me 12 sounds pretty little? or is it just me. I would have thought they would have sent m ore fighters.


Well, that's relative to what you're trying to accomplish. The Raptor is there for training and political purpose rather than for war. As such you really don't need huge numbers to achieve both of those goals. The 27th and 94th FS both have about 26 Raptors each, so 12 is almost half the force of the 27th FS.


Originally posted by Daedalus3
I wonder how good the F-22s are themselves at picking up other F-22s with the famed AN/APG-77?


From what I've heard Raptors have no problem "seeing" each other, I cannot confirm this. However If true then there must be a way in which they can identify each other without relying on just radar returns .

[edit on 11-1-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Jan, 11 2007 @ 10:42 PM
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Daedalus3 ,great read there ! Just wanted to say I have worked at both AB's ,and Kadena is always a staging area for Kunsan , Never would ever
be staged at Osan AB (even tho it it quite the fighter base) for it's obvious proximity to the DMZ . thANX .

www.osan.af.mil...



posted on Jan, 12 2007 @ 01:31 AM
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Here's some more news for F 22 fans...
As the F-22 begins its operational life, interest has turned to assessing just how well suited the stealthy Raptor is to its role as the premier air-to-air fighter, while taking a peek at some of the surprises for pilots and maintenance crews as they explore what the aircraft can do. As part of the research for this series of articles on the F-22, Michael Fabey flew in the back seat of an F-15D while the Eagle and Raptor pilots demonstrated their aircraft's capabilities in the air-to-air ranges at Tyndall AFB, Fla. (For additional details of the Raptor's unique air-to-air capabilities, see AW&ST Sept. 6, 1999, p. 84.)

The F-22 is proving it's a dogfighter after all.

While it wasn't part of a hard-turning furball, an F-22--with its Amraams and Sidewinders expended--slipped into visual range behind an F-16 and undetected made a simulated kill with its cannon during the stealth fighter's first large-scale exercise and deployment outside the continental U.S.

Those and other revelations about the F-22's emerging capabilities are increasingly important as the first combat unit, the U.S. Air Force's 27th Fighter Sqdn., begins its initial Air Expeditionary Force deployment this month to an undisclosed site. And the first F-22 unit, the 94th Fighter Sqdn., will participate in Red Flag in February.

The gun kill is a capability Air Force planners hope their F-22s won't use. The fighter is designed to destroy a foe well beyond his visual and radar range. Within visual-range combat and, in particular, gun kills are anachronisms. In amassing 144 kills to no losses during the first week of the joint-service Northern Edge exercise in Alaska last summer, only three air-to-air "kills" were in the visual arena--two involving AIM-9 Sidewinders and one the F-22's cannon.

Story
Raptor Scores in Alaskan Exercise
By David A. Fulghum and Michael J. Fabey
01/07/2007 09:51:16 PM

Gives you a better insight to the RAPTOR



posted on Jan, 12 2007 @ 05:42 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
From what I've heard Raptors have no problem "seeing" each other, I cannot confirm this. However If true then there must be a way in which they can identify each other without relying on just radar returns .


If you're talking BVR non-visual recognition then you might want to hold on real tight to that one!

Hear no evil, See no evil, and type no evil!!


EDIT:

I think its the same article westpt linked Jezza?




[edit on 12-1-2007 by Daedalus3]





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