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F-117 fly again

rooster

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Everyone knows I am just an enthusiast here. That said, why are we keeping the nighthawks flying when there are better options for "stealth" platforms to train against? What happened to the Boeing and NG drones, for example? If they are just keeping - I am guessing - 3 or 4 nighthawks flying, isn't it more costly than the drones we had built and flown?
 

TomS

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Everyone knows I am just an enthusiast here. That said, why are we keeping the nighthawks flying when there are better options for "stealth" platforms to train against? What happened to the Boeing and NG drones, for example? If they are just keeping - I am guessing - 3 or 4 nighthawks flying, isn't it more costly than the drones we had built and flown?
There's still a lot to be said in favor of having a real live brain in the cockpit for a test or training evolution.
 

stealthflanker

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Yeah, as long as there is manned platform, one would also need a manned platform to simulate things. e.g Chinese or Russian stealth bomber which would be manned.
 

TomS

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It also likely helps that there is a sizable fleet of mothballed aircraft to cannibalize for parts to keep the few current F-117s flying.
 

Archibald

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I was really not surprised some years ago when some F-117 become airworthy again. Stealth platforms are scarce and expensive (although the F-35 may change that, being the first mass produced one) and thus a fleet of 50 F-117 is too good to be lost.

The F-117 fleet still had plenty of useful life left when it was retired. It was done as an "economy measure" because it was too small (50 airframes left ?) and expensive to maintain (old stealth coating from the 70's...)

Now all these issues vanish into thin air for a small experimental fleet. Which is flown "NASA / X-plane" style, not much.

Finally, as noted, with 50 airframes if only 5 are flying, there are 9 airframes in storage to support each one.
 

Dilandu

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Probably some kind of anti-stealth training - like detection and interception of stealth aircraft. Currently, USAF did not have the monopoly on stealth anymore, so it make sense to use F-117 as "stealth aggressors" for military exercises. To train the personnel, and to develop tactics against opponent's stealth crafts.
 

kitnut617

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Not too long ago, there were some photos posted on SPF of these F-117 flying in one of the recent exercises
 

TomcatViP

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Well it's better to train blue force in counter-stealth with a phased-out design than inadvertently teach the red force how to shot down your last assets. :rolleyes:

Amazing that a late 70's design can still do the trick.
 
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BDF

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Part of Type 1000 storage requires some A/C operations to keep MX and pilots currency on the type as well as exercising the jets. This doesn't mean that they're not being used as training or testing but part of Type 1000 storage requirements is occasionally flying the jets.
 
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