08 Dec 2017: It appears we have had yet another (another) confrontation with Russian aircraft over Syrian airspace. We are getting tired of being right frankly, and we have demanded the US remove its forces from Syria - as we are way (way) past any need for them. To continue on this trajectory shows both friends and allies alike that Washington remains a reckless global entity operating a dubious legal narrative. ISIS is all but already defeated. While we are no friends of Assad, Syria and its allies can finish the job.
American and Russian aircraft are coming in increasing close proximity over Syria. Cooler heads at the Pentagon need to step in and start withdrawing and winding down American combat operations in Syria before miscalculation causes an international incident, or worse. The high closure rates and the "fog of war" are working together and could produce disastrous results if nothing is done.
radio spectrum airfoil fighters like the American F-22A are becoming increasingly apparent (as we predicted back in 2009). In sacrificing everything for x-band stealth, the USAF has confounded what fighter-pilots require with what stealth requires. F-22 has an uneven capability and lacks proper sensors for the pilot to do the tasks assigned over Syria. The F-22 is ill-suited to conduct defensive counterair.
We have been highly critical of stealth fighters and believe all ultra-stealthy fighters are one to two generations behind in wide-band sensors, IFF capabilities, helmet-sighting, weapons, and 2D post-stall maneuvering. Together with exotic stealth coating that sandblast-off while in flight, the costs, limitations, and low mission-capable rates - simply do not pencil out for stealth fighters.
Article below originally appears by Lara Seligman at Aviation Week and Space Technology. Please see Source. Photos selected here were not in the original article, dated Nov 19, 2017:
"Russian Fighters Test U.S. Boundaries In Skies Over Syria"
"Al DHAFRA AIR BASE, UAE—As Islamic State militants lose ground in Iraq and Syria, U.S. fighter pilots are seeing increasingly alarming behavior from Russian aircraft flying over the battlespace.
Lt. Col. “Ox,” a U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor pilot and commander of the 95th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron assigned to Al Dhafra airbase, UAE, said his pilots see unexpected, potentially threatening movement from Russian fighters flying over Iraq and Syria with growing regularity. The pilots have had numerous close calls in the past few weeks, with Russian aircraft frequently flying within weapons range of coalition ground troops, Ox said.
“It’s so crowded, the typical employment game plans, tactics that we use are happening at much longer ranges than the current fight,” Ox said. “It really accelerates our timelines and puts us into very short decision times, especially as those platforms we are trying to identify get closer and closer to our defending point.”
In this defensive counterair (DCA) role, the main advantage the Raptor brings is its advanced sensor suite and fusion capability. But where the F-15 Strike Eagles performing DCA in the region are able to send and receive critical battlefield information over Link 16, the tactical data link used by most Air Force aircraft, the F-22s do not have full Link 16 capability. This means the Raptors can receive data and imagery from other aircraft in the battlespace over Link 16, but cannot send the advanced picture the fifth-generation aircraft generates to the rest of the force.
Instead, the F-22 pilots must rely on traditional voice communication to describe what they are seeing, Ox said.
“I couldn’t tell if they are monitoring Guard like we are, I couldn’t tell you if maybe they are hearing it and not responding,” Ox said.
- All media found here is for scholarly and research purposes and protected under U.S. Internet ‘Fair Use’ Law -