Monday, January 06, 2014

Home: That word doesn't mean what you seem to think.

From The Aviationist:

Earlier this year, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little, said that an IRIAF (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force) F-4 Phantom combat plane attempted to intercept a U.S. MQ-1 drone flying in international airspace off Iran. As we reported back then, one of the two F-4 Phantom jets came to about 16 miles from the UAV but broke off pursuit after they were broadcast a warning message by two American planes escorting the Predator. The episode happened in March 2013, few months after a two Sukhoi Su-25 attack planes operated by the Pasdaran (informal name of the IRGC – the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution) attempted to shoot down an American MQ-1 flying a routine surveillance flight in international airspace some 16 miles off Iran, the interception of the unmanned aircraft failed. After this attempted interception the Pentagon decided to escort the drones involved in ISR (intelligence surveillance reconnaissance) missions with fighter jets (either F-18 Hornets with the CVW 9 embarked on the USS John C. Stennis whose Carrier Strike Group is currently in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility or F-22 Raptors like those deployed to Al Dhafra in the UAE. New details about the episode were recently disclosed by Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh who on Sept. 17 not only confirmed that the fighter jets providing HVAAE (High Value Air Asset Escort) were F-22 stealth fighters but also said that: "He [the Raptor pilot] flew under their aircraft [the F-4s] to check out their weapons load without them knowing that he was there, and then pulled up on their left wing and then called them and said ‘you really ought to go home.'"

If I'm reading the account correctly (and it's not very well written), and the Iranian F-4s came within 16 miles of a drone 16 miles off the Iranian coast, then their distance from "home" was exactly zero. The distance of the American planes from their home?

7243.53 miles.

Just sayin' . . . .


Anonymous said...

Using two manned fighters to escort an unmanned drone sort of defeats the purpose of having an unmanned drone program in the first place.

Like when the extra cost of developing F117 aircraft and B-2 bombers was offset by all the savings of not needing to escort them with EW aircraft, and then to protect that huge investment, we sent EW planes along anyway.

In this particular case, the US pilot may have been referring to the Iranian pilot's home address in a suburb of Tehran.


Dr. Φ said...

PH: Good point. Then again, the F22 is mostly drone anyway . . .

In this particular case, the Iranian pilot had best stick to the basement of that suburban home.

Dexter said...

What PH said.

Since when did crappy-ass Predators become "High Value Air Assets" requiring escort?

Half those "High Value Air Assets" have crashed due to pilot error... d'oh!

Anonymous said...

Sure. Blame it on the microchip.