Air Force F-22 Raptors train with Navy F/A-18 Hornets
F-22 Raptors deployed to Kadena Air Base, Japan, trained with U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets April 26, 2007, near the waters of Okinawa. The Super Hornets, from VFA-27 “The Royal Maces,” are stationed at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, and are the U.S. Navy’s newest frontline carrier-based fighter. The Raptors are from the 27th Fighter Squadron, Langley Air Force Base, Va., and have been deployed to Kadena since February. The training exercises focused on the next generation fighter capabilities between the two aircraft. (U.S. Navy courtesy photo)
I quickly found what I was looking for on the website but my eye was quickly attracted to a news story which was published a day after the blog Cobra Gold O7 post.
The news story was about USAF first combat ready F-22 Raptor squadron which had deployed to Kadena air base in Japan, had made a stop-over in Guam on Wednesday last month. The l Raptor squadron was on its home to the Langley AFB..
On another website, I was given another perspective of the story. The Raptor squadron departure came about two days before the annual peace march in Japan including Guam. Was it coincidence or something that the US Pacific Command had foreseen and therefore hasten the departure of the Raptors whose arrivals were not really welcome by the islanders.
Anyway everyone knows the Raptor is called the air dominance fighter. It is supposed to be a quantum leap in fighter design something which is heads and shoulders above the other fighters, friendly or non-friendly.
With RMAF set to receive its Super Flankers this month, I look forward to Cope Thunder ex between them and the Raptors. RMAF Fulcrums have been pitted against other fighter jets from USAF F-15, USN F-18/F-14 and Aussies F-18s in the past.
Based on reports from the mock-dogfights, the Fulcrums certainly hold their own in these engagements. The positive reports were mostly on the visual arena where the helmet-mounted sight of the Fulcrums coupled with the R-73 infra-red missiles proved more lethal than the US-design weapons systems.
Unsurprisingly, the US side remained coy about Beyond Visual Range (BVR) scenarios. Malaysian Defence have not read any reports on this type of engagement from either sides.
With RMAF never confirming its Fulcrums are equipped with BVR missiles, the issue is elementary.
The Super Flankers coming into service with RMAF are designed for BVR missiles and the service can no longer deny its existence. I believe the USAF is also keen to test the Raptor against another jet also equipped with thrust vector control especially a Russian one.