F-22s Are Back in the Middle East

Well, in case you haven’t seen this, F-22s are in the Middle East and everyone is very excited about this. The fifth-gen birds were there a couple of years go participating in excercisies with local air forces at the Gulf Air Warfare Center at Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates (at a time when tensions with Iran were spiking).

This time, the Air Force isn’t saying what the “significant” number of Raptors are doing downrange.

Air Force spokesperson Lt. Col. John Dorrian would not confirm the exact location of the F-22s, but told ABC News they had been deployed to a base in Southwest Asia — a region that includes the UAE.Dorrian also stressed that the F-22s were simply taking part in a scheduled deployment and are “not a threat to Iran.”

“This is a very normal deployment to strengthen military relationships, promote sovereign and regional security, improve combined tactical air operations and enhance interoperability of forces,” Dorrian said.

The F-22 has only been in the UAE once before fortraining missions in 2009with “coalition partners.”

Dorrian declined to say what the Raptors’ mission was in the region this time around or how many planes had been deployed, citing operational security. However, Dorrian said that because of the F-22’s next-generation capabilities, any number of planes deployed to the region is “significant.”

F-15C Eagles are reportedly in the region as well, practicing tactics with the F-22s and the jets of other air forces in the area.


  • Pat

    Sometimes I feel like this is the forgotten plane… Especially with all of the F-35 BS going around.

    • DGR

      Heck, I was just reading today and saw a picture with F-22s and external drop tanks. Where the heck did those come from? When did those things come out? And I guess the AF is advertising that they can hold extranal munitions as well. Have I been drinking to much again, or have the defense blogs (not just defensetech.org) not picked up on those?

  • Rohan

    This one is dangerous. I don’t know but sometimes it looks that itzz gonna kill everyone whose gonna come on his way. Raptors are dangerous and hot. I should say better stay away from them or be prepared to die !!!

    • tiger

      I ‘ll be happy if it does not killl the pilot. Problem still not solved…….

  • Vaporhead

    I wonder what all the sand will do to the LO (low observable) coatings. The Air Force remembers what happened to the B-2 when it’s pilots decided to fly the thing through a volcanic ash cloud. Not good.

    • Mike

      Really? And when did that happen? Was in the program for 25 years and never heard of that. No pilot “decides” to fly through an ash cloud. Isn’t there a comic book on the newstand you have not bought yet?

  • ltfunk

    Lets hope they manage to shoot down any Israeli attempt to start a war.

    • benjamin

      It does make me wonder if that is there purpose. I still would bomb Iran because I highly doubt even if they were brought in to scare Israel off, they would actually be used.

      • dddd

        It is not just the US government, but several officials within the Israeli government (defense and intelligence chiefs, serving and former) who are trying to forestall a broader conflict with Iran–because those with experience understand that a war, however well-intentioned, would be a waste of lives, time, and money that would be better spent on revitalizing the global economy.

        • asdf

          yeah, no shit sherlock

          • dddd


        • asdf

          yeah, no **** sherlock

    • Ezra Shabot

      Too right mate. Israel doesn’t want peace they want war!

      • DGR

        LOL, and Iran just wants to coexist with Israel in peace…… right……..

      • Eagle275

        Iran wants world peace too, don’t they?

        • passingby

          I’ll bet that Iran wants peace in the region more than the US and Israel do.

    • matt


  • benjamin

    I wonder how Iran’s F-14’s can do against the F-22. I really believe a modernized F-14 would have been the closest competitor to the F-22.
    The only way for Iran to down one of these is through the use of good tactics and the expectation they will lose a lot of there own jets

    • Richard

      I don’t really know about that. 2 things. #1. I dont even think the F-14 could handle the F15C with upgraded avionics and we know that the F-15 is no match at all for the F22.

      #2 Iran may have the airframes, but they do not have the avionics, which basically makes them useless. The F14s that Iran has would be smoke and ash before they even know whats going on. Thats if they even take off at all.

    • DGR

      Might have been, but Irans F-14s are far from modernized.

      • Bob

        Will Iran’s F14s even start? That’s a mighty complex bird that’s been w/o new parts for a while. . .

    • JE McKellar

      I don’t think the F-14 would do too well, it was designed as an interceptor, high speed with big missiles. Very good for taking out bombers and cruise missiles at range, but less suited for the kind of mass close-range dogfight that would be needed to overwhelm a F-22. I believe the Iranians used them as mini-AWACS in the Iran-Iraq war, which is exactly the kind of thing a F-22 would kill first.

    • Ron

      From what I have read, Iran has upgraded a number of F-14 engines, radar to missiles with Russian and Chinese components. So there are some questions on Iran’s F-14 capabilities.

      The key to this is that IRAN does not have a true AWAC and the US will have a number of them to control the F-22. There is also US F-15c in the UAE. The US might be probing Iran to see how they react to the F-15 vs the F-22 to see how good their radar is.

  • dddd

    I like it. Keeping the pressure up, even as Tehran signals that they are seriously considering dropping this nuclear program. Kudos, Obama/Pentagon.

  • Chris

    It would be a very one-sided fight if the US or Israel went toe-to-toe with Iran’s air forces… We far outpace them in technology, training, and sortie-rate. I think any aerial combat would be brief and many Iranian aircraft would either be taken out on the ground or be very reluctant to come up to meet us. Just my 2 cents… I’m not up to date on Iran’s air defenses but I believe most of the “air war” would actually be an “air-to-ground” war. Iran doesn’t want a war because it knows it would devastate the country economically and probably destroy many industries and infrastructure. They are posturing for economic and military concessions.

  • Woody

    Iran would’nt stand any chance of any success against the US or Israel….we all know that the Iranian F-14’s are just the shell, they are in very bad shape mechanically and have no avionics that are anywhere near capable of even downing an A10….the Iranians know this too….We all hope that Iran will just be quiet and just keep to themselves, but as unstable as Achemedinijiad (sp?) is, we can never be totally sure of what he will do…..Even he knows that Israel would leave Iran a smoking wasteland if he did any kind of strike against Israel…

  • JackBlack

    Video is awesome.

  • Allen

    We need another 100 F-22’s, even if the AF has to pare down it’s 35A order a bit. A bit over 180 airframes is cutting it far too close given inevitable losses to accidents, need for spare parts, etc.

    • JRL

      Dunno why we need more of these $400M+ prima donnas when the 140 or so combat -coded Raptors already in existence are supposed to have a 160 -1 kill ratio advantage against anything else in the sky.

      By my math, that makes ’em a match for 22,400 first class enemy fighters.

      IOW, about 22,000 more than actually exist…

    • tiger

      The debt is $17 trillon. The POTUS is talking student loans, Not Mig chasing jets. That money better spent on more basic needs like a new tanker. Non glammour items like Bases & housing are needed more.

  • Kski

    So what dose Iran have that could get a LUCKY shot at a F-22?

  • Adam

    everybody keeps talking about how the iranian air force would go against these planes, of course they would loose even the Iranians know this so what the west is worried about is that if Isreal or US mount a raid you have created 200 million angry muslims prepared to die to get payback just imagine a bigger version of what happened in iraq. We have to be smarter and think of better ways of dealing with this instead of falling prey to defence contractors looking for more money from congress.
    P.S if all else fails oh well at least we have these planes and not them

  • ltfunk

    We already far outmatch the Iranian airforce and the F-22 has no ground attack utility.

    But the level of penetration of Israeli agents in our government and services is such that we are likely to have little or no warning of an Israeli attack. Here the ability of the F-22 to surpercruise to an intercept is very useful.

    They would likely go after the tankers first. With all tankers destroyed Israel would have to recalculate whether losing an entire generation of front line fighter pilots would be worth the price of starting the war.

    If the Israel attack presses on then the limited number of weapons the F-22 carries would become a big liability.

  • jimfromcanada

    I think the F22 is there to protect the tankers. and the Gulf states if Israel decides to go “hot”

    • Ray

      i think your correct, but as regards all the rest of the comments, well everyone has forgot about russia, they may be a problem, this maybe a war that we all have to deal with.

    • tiger

      That is the 5th Fleet’s job.

  • Ray

    i think all your coments are correct, but what you have all forgot is russia and what they will bring to the table. i hope that iran will back down, but something inside me believes that iran will fight and russia will help them, if this war begins it will be one the world and all its peaple will see first hand._i also believe that we will all need to stand together and be stronge in our times of need._……..and it will be a time of need……mark my words._god bless you all and good look

  • Dennis

    to tell you the truth you don’t have to worry about Israel. Israel will not attack Iran. For one non of the surrounding countries (Jordan,Syria,Saudi Arabia) will allow Israel to fly over their airspace or use their bases to refuel or US Bases in their country to refuel or be refueled. Also the aircraft they have can not carry enough weapons to do significant damage to the targets over that long of a range with out refueling. They need to carry bunker busters of around 4,000 plus pounds or cruise missles.
    The only way they could attack is if they went with the US in a joint attack or the US refueled their planes and I don’t think this will happen. The possibility of starting a regional conflict like 1967 war is more possible if Israel attacks or joins the US in a military strike then the US going it alone or with a coalition like Iraq, Afganastan ect.
    Right now Russia and China are there in the security council to veto and they would. So i dont believe a military option is really on the table. I think it is being used for leverage to get Iran to back down and come to the table for sincere talks.

    • passingby

      The plan to control Iranian oil has been in place years ago!!!!! It’s an integral part of the long term geopolitical strategy. The so-called “Iranian nuclear threat” is no different from the “weapons of mass destruction” false pretense used to disguise the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.

      If you buy the anti-Iranian propaganda, then you are no different from the sheeple who got manipulated by the Iraqi WMD BS.

      • Frank

        with one exception – the iranian have nuclear capabilities that are not only public but flaunted to the world – sure there might be an “we want to control the oil” issue
        but this time its not just about that – the whole region is in turmoil sure all you hear about is from israel but to be honest iraq UAE and many countries in the region are afraid of the power the iranian will receive from this nuclear ability they could do whatever they want and no one would dare attack them once they have nuclear weapons
        that would result in an arms race thorught the middle east because every one in the middle east knows iran
        iran is the bad kid in the hood the one that doesnt care about consequences

    • Benjamin

      Israel has its own refueling aircraft.

    • Richard

      Really? You think that Iraq is going to be able to shoot down anything Israel is going to bring. All they are going to be able to do is watch. Jordan is the same way.

  • Appler

    Hey, lets have Obama land the F-22 in the Iranian desert like the drone he gave them!
    The operators told their superiors they lost all control of the drone…….

    I wonder what the liberals would say about that……

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