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?

      • Belesari

        They always could. The thing no one wants to admit is all stealth fighters have those.

        And if they fly in even friendly territory will most likely have them on. Dont forget the part where the French gave away records of the F-117 stealth characteristics. Which might have lead to its downing.

  • 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…….

      • Eagle275

        They might wanna try new g-suits.

  • 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


          • DB-1

            To dddd & itfunk if Iran do develop nuclear weapons and then threaten Israel and other nations in the middle-east what should those countries and the US do?

          • ltfunk

            What we always do - ally with them.

          • passingby

            Israel has nuclear weapons. Why shouldn’t the US sanction and / or bomb Israel??

          • Benjamin

            Israel has shown that they are not on some genocidal mission from god. If the Arabs and the Persians stopped financing the wars against Israel, the Arabs and Persians would stop dying.

          • passingby

            LOL.that’s because of your ignorance. you’ve been brainwashed by US propaganda machine, i.e. the US mainstream media, controlled by pro-Israel big corps.

          • Richard

            shows you have been brainwashed by the other side
            in any case us planes will not shot down israeli planes as that would be an act of war against a formal ally
            more to the point Benjamin is right , Terrorist groups like Hizballa in lebanon are officially affiliated to iran
            both in funding and training
            and if thats not enough do you see israeli’s running around threatning to DESTROY iran ? the worst i’ve seen is threatning the attack research facilities and that is also as a response to a regime in iran that does threaten to destroy israel on a daily basis - no brain washing needed , watch ahmadinijad’s speeches he doesnt even try to suger coat it
            sure the israeli’s might not be the most helpful ally but at least they dont threaten every ally the u.s has in the middle east (UAE anyone?)

        • 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……..

        • passingby

          Israel is a brutal, murderous, oppressive, and expansionist tyrant in the region. How can any neighboring country possibly coexist with Israel? Have you done any research on war crimes committed by Israel and the US?

          • Black Owl

            Are you guys serious? After seeing how the other Arab nations are killing their own people in the Arab Spring you think Israel is brutal? Whatever drugs you guys are on please get me some, because I’m having a real bad day and could use some good disillusionment.

          • Rapier975

            Black owl, just ignore them. Everyone else does. We are the United States. We own the world.

          • passingby

            hi dick Cheney. got a pulse? I mean the pulse of the people. How’s the battery on that pacer or pacers?

          • WarPony

            the banksters own the world and US. remember the family that bought Israel?

          • Benjamin

            Read the history of the Arab world and then tell us brutal, murderous, oppressive, and expansionist. The Arabs and Persians are full of tyrants who have tried or actually have conquered other country’s and committed acts of genocide. It has never been please convert to shiaism or to Sunni faiths but has been done with the sword.

      • 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. . .

        • DGR

          All the recent pictures show them with wings fully extended. To me that says they are hard broke, or so worn out that they will break soon. But that ties back into pilot proficiency. If you cant give your pilots a lot of flight time then how do you expect them to remain efficient in combat?

          • Lance

            I wouldn’t underestimate the Iranian F-14s they probably had Russia or China modernize them for them and carry AA-9 Amos missiles to make up for lost Phoenix missiles used in the Iran/Iraq war. They have SA-20 SAMs and modern MiG-29 fighters to make up for there fleets of F-14s F-5s and F-4s. This is a good step to deter Iran but overall who know what will happen when the rubber hits the road.

          • blight_

            If they import advanced machine tooling from the PRC, they might have a shot at repairing the F-14’s they have. However, the F-14s they got were using export grade fire control, unless the Iranians plug one in from somewhere else, or assembled and reverse engineered something better from F-14 surplus sales.

          • Ron

            All US F-14 were *******… so Iran could not get replaments parts..

    • 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…

    • tiger

      They have more than just F-14’s…..

    • Benjamin

      I would put a good A-10 pilot above anything else aircraft wise if it is just a gun fight. I don’t think the A-10 carries the Aim-9Xyet.

    • adam

      we have to remember the muslims are not like us they think its a great thing to die for thier god so if they lost half their country but landed one nuke on Isreal or the west then they think its a victory, stupid yes but thats who we are dealing with

      • Persianboy23

        Iranians are not like other Muslims they have Persian pride which is above Islam so dieing is not fun. Most Iranians dont hate America but they wouldnt want anyone invading there country and yes most Iranians appose the goverment there but sitll dont want Americans coming in look what happpend in Iraq the US killed thousands of civilians docters,farmers,lawyers they shot woman children so im just saying things like that piss ppl of and escalate hince Iraqi insurgency 8 year war boom!. Its not gonna be like Bf3 or Cod where America invades Iran or Iraq in 3 days and the war is over noo shit will take a long damn time a LONG time if u wanna win Iran u need to simply let the goverment die out and the young will take over simple as that (Americans)

  • 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…

      • rapier975

        Because……well, ya see…..just cuz, man.

      • TMB

        Because they won’t all be in the same place at the same time, we’ll lose a few more to accidents, some will always be in maintenance cycle, and more importantly, an F-22 doesn’t carry enough ordnance to kill 160 enemy aircraft on the same sortie. And they never cost $400 million. The first ones off the line cost around $200 million, and subsequent copies cost 10% less a year. The final F-22 cost $140 million.

        • tiger

          For that price, a working Oxygen system would be nice. Pilots are actually wanting out of F-22 units due to this. http://hamptonroads.com/node/638303

        • passingby

          how many places do you want to be at the same time?

          • TMB

            I just don’t see us having the entire F-22 fleet together in the same war (at least on Day 1) unless we had a fair amount of warning to get them all together.

    • 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

      just like the drone they caught?

  • 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

    • Ami

      Nuke them ? :

      Turn the desert into glass there would be not angry iraninas right?
      what is your better solution than ?

  • 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.

    • Mike

      Good grief, the stupidity of some of these comments is incredible.

    • Andrew

      I thought the whole Israel/Iran thing was just some sort of auto-correct mistake, and then I realized your probably just crazy.

    • lber1568

      I’s sorry, but your comment is so far off the wall that I have to jump in. Even with Obama’s negative attitude and policies against Israel, the American public would prevent any such actions. The real scernio would be either a solo attack by Israel, or if Iran does not start complying with World demands, a joint strike to take out many of Iran’s Nuke refining/storage areas.
      Our new and improved Bunker Busters have probably already been delivered to Israel’s Air Forces.
      The real threat from Iran is in the area of Air Defenses. Not Aircraft but SAM’s and AAA. Back from lessons learned fom Viet Nam and Israel’s last was against the Mid East. We suffered probably 85% of our Air losses from ground based defenses. Iran has deployed their SAM/AAA around the righ risk targets.
      The F-22’s ground attack capabities are limited. F-22 can internally carry two 1,000 pound-class Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM). It’s main armament are A/A Missiles. It was designed as an Air Superiority Fighter.

  • 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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