1,000

— The number of flights flown by the Air Force’s oldest F-22 fighter, Tail Number 4007 (making it the James Bond jet among airmen). The $350 million plane has been flying since a month after 9/11. During its 1000th sortie at Edwards Air Force Base April 19, the Air Force said the plane tested software upgrade 3.2A, designed to “enhance its lethality and self-defense capability.” Too bad, for taxpayers at least, that it hasn’t needed either. No F-22 has flown a single combat mission since becoming operational in 2005. It sat out the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. At this rate, it’s going to take a long time for any F-22 pilot to become an “ace” by downing five enemy aircraft.
The oldest F-22 / Lockheed
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2 comments
kellyjo5150
kellyjo5150

Maybe its not designed to fight low tech wars ?   Of the three conflicts mentioned, only Iraq even had aircraft that might challenge ours and they were destroyed right after the F-22 first became operational.  The Iraqi aircraft were way outclassed by most of what we had and by our pilots so why risk the early iteration of the top high tech fighter versus these guys ?  Big risk for little gain.   So its capabilities could be exposed to Russia or China ? 

BarryNeilson
BarryNeilson

@kellyjo5150 Russia has no interest whatsoever in becoming involved in another conflict with the US. Meanwhile, China proves quite adequetly that you don't need a war to take over the world. You can simply buy it using cheap labor. Furthermore, if ever there was a conflict between them, the US economy would collapse overnight before the first shots were fired between them.

The US would be seen to be the protagonist in any future war between Russia and China, and could therefore expect no help from the EU or AsiaPac (not many countries really want to get into bed with the US after the GW Bush fiasco anyway).

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