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SuperiorPilotMe
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Former F-117 pilot admits plane had secondary A2A role on podcast

Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:00 am

https://theaviationist.com/2020/06/03/f ... ilot-says/

“yes his primary role was attack but having said that, it could actually carry every munition in the inventory at the time of its insertion, with the exception of the Sparrow missile which was radar-guided so we could carry air-to-air missiles we could carry the full gamut of air-to-ground munitions and everything. So the f-117 designation has long been rumored and then postulated and and many beers have gone down about why it was as such but I think it was basically they just said – hey we don’t want to have anything really too extraordinary out there at all – but yes in all reality it is an attack jet but it did have a limited air-to-air capability.”
Stop the stupids!- Claus Kellerman
 
Ozair
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Re: Former F-117 pilot admits plane had secondary A2A role on podcast

Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:08 am

SuperiorPilotMe wrote:
https://theaviationist.com/2020/06/03/f-117s-had-an-air-to-air-capability-with-secondary-mission-to-shoot-down-soviet-awacs-former-stealth-pilot-says/

“yes his primary role was attack but having said that, it could actually carry every munition in the inventory at the time of its insertion, with the exception of the Sparrow missile which was radar-guided so we could carry air-to-air missiles we could carry the full gamut of air-to-ground munitions and everything. So the f-117 designation has long been rumored and then postulated and and many beers have gone down about why it was as such but I think it was basically they just said – hey we don’t want to have anything really too extraordinary out there at all – but yes in all reality it is an attack jet but it did have a limited air-to-air capability.”
It was on the Fighter Pilot podcast when they did the F-117 episode, https://www.fighterpilotpodcast.com/epi ... nighthawk/

Worth listening to the whole episode as he also talks about his time during Desert Storm.
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: Former F-117 pilot admits plane had secondary A2A role on podcast

Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:39 am

A former F-4 squadron mate of mine flew the F117 from '86 to '91. I asked him about this after reading about the podcast a month ago. He essentialy said he had heard about some test and evaluation using the AIM-9 and trying to acquire an airborne target with their FLIR gear. However, he said never was there any training nor carrying of the AIM-9 in his operational squadron nor had he heard of any others that trained in it. He personally said, trying to do an intercept utilizing our AWACs or GCI and then acquiring an IR signature on a Soviet AWACs who would be flying lights out, would be hit or miss at night. Training in night A/G deliveries took just about all their time.
 
cpd
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Re: Former F-117 pilot admits plane had secondary A2A role on podcast

Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:08 am

RetiredWeasel wrote:
A former F-4 squadron mate of mine flew the F117 from '86 to '91. I asked him about this after reading about the podcast a month ago. He essentialy said he had heard about some test and evaluation using the AIM-9 and trying to acquire an airborne target with their FLIR gear. However, he said never was there any training nor carrying of the AIM-9 in his operational squadron nor had he heard of any others that trained in it. He personally said, trying to do an intercept utilizing our AWACs or GCI and then acquiring an IR signature on a Soviet AWACs who would be flying lights out, would be hit or miss at night. Training in night A/G deliveries took just about all their time.


Would any of them have even tried to use the AIM-9 with this plane given it was relatively slow and a sitting duck after the missile launch. Sure, they might be lucky enough to knock out a high value plane, but there is a strong chance the F117 was probably going to be shot down too if someone saw it visually.

I suspect it probably never happened in real operation. Too risky for an important plane.
 
Ozair
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Re: Former F-117 pilot admits plane had secondary A2A role on podcast

Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:47 am

cpd wrote:
Would any of them have even tried to use the AIM-9 with this plane given it was relatively slow and a sitting duck after the missile launch. Sure, they might be lucky enough to knock out a high value plane, but there is a strong chance the F117 was probably going to be shot down too if someone saw it visually.

A couple of things. I’m not sure where or how the AIM-9 would have been fit. If internal it would have required a trapeze mount of some sort to deploy it outside the aircraft. AIM-9 is rail launched and the AIM-9L/M that the F-117 would have carried required lock on before launch . If external mounted it likely would have impacted the RCS of the aircraft and yes made it a more dangerous exercise and significantly increase the chance of detection especially by an AWACS.

The target would likely not have been that difficult to identify, blue AWACS could have vectored them on and the F-117 would attack the aircraft look up. As long as the AIM-9 was pointed in the general vicinity it would have had no issues detecting a large four engine transport at night. The F-117 would have flown exclusively at night so, if firing an internally mounted AIM-9, once the missile was launched and the bays were closed, I think it would have been unlikely that the Soviet fighters of the 80s would have been able to detect and target the aircraft. Tactically in that time period Warsaw pilots weren’t great at operating outside guidance from ground or air and I suspect they would never have found the F-117 given its Radar and IR reduction.

cpd wrote:
I suspect it probably never happened in real operation. Too risky for an important plane.

Of course but hitting a Soviet AWACS on the early nights of a conflict would likely have ensured NATO air supremacy for that night and probably worth the risk of losing the aircraft, hence the likely very meager CONOPS developed for it. As I said above, the F-117 may never have had the launch equipment available to conduct this sort of engagement anyway.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Former F-117 pilot admits plane had secondary A2A role on podcast

Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:00 pm

During the era, its likely adversary would have had only two ways of detecting it: the rear gun mount radar on their AWACS, patrol and strategic bombers, and their ground control air search radars. Such an intercept would likely have been far away from any of their ground control stations, so the latter was likely not a major issue, though if they thought that they would be using this in Eastern Europe, without having previously gone through and eliminating the various many ground radars in the region, its not likely. However, from below and behind, its very unlikely that the russian heavy would have been able to see the F-117 in a buttoned up configuration. Once they open the doors and sling the missile down for launch though, it has to unshroud the seeker head on the sidewinder, and that's going to expose the fighter to the rear gunner AND alert any escorting fighters in the region. It's got enough time to get a lock and launch before its going to have a lot of company. Unfortunately, during that era, russian heat seekers were a bit more advanced than ours, and it is widely known that the 9L/M wasn't the most resistant to flares, so the chance of a success were quite low.

If the rear gunner radar was on... If it was off, they wouldn't know a thing until the missile was away. Unless it was AWACS. The AWACS more than likely had enough power to get a return from the F-117 if it was close enough to deploy an AIM-9L/M. It could have very carefully tried to keep directly on the tail to keep in the vertical stabilizer shadow, but, I'm not sure that would have been enough. Stealth isn't complete invisibility to radar, it just reduces the amount of energy that is returned to the radar emitter. Effectively, it just shortens the distance where any particular radar is effective against the target. Closing with an AWACS with it would have not been advisable.
 
cpd
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Re: Former F-117 pilot admits plane had secondary A2A role on podcast

Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:48 pm

As I thought, it never happened for real:

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... et-a-radar

Seems like the idea was investigated but didn’t seem to go anywhere at least as far as we can tell. The plane is too compromised for this purpose.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Former F-117 pilot admits plane had secondary A2A role on podcast

Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:20 am

cpd wrote:
As I thought, it never happened for real:

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... et-a-radar

Seems like the idea was investigated but didn’t seem to go anywhere at least as far as we can tell. The plane is too compromised for this purpose.


Seems like someone was "inspired" by Clancy's "Red Storm rising".

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6

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