F-117A Nighthawk Stealth Fighter Attack Aircraft is somewhat
misnamed. It is not a true fighter because it has no
capability to fight air to air combat and has no defenses, such
as chaff, flare, dispensers, radar jammers etc. It relies
completely on its stealth capability and the darkness of night
to avoid air defenses and enemy fighters.
mission of the aircraft is to penetrate dense threat
environments and attack high value targets with high
accuracy. The F-117A was classified
as a "black" program. The development and production
was highly classified and done secretly. In 1988 the USAF
declassified the stealth and the public and the press was shown
to some extent the stealth capabilities.
The Nighthawk was made for the Gulf
War. It's stealth capabality let it spearheaded the air
assault against Iraq. It hit vital targets in Baghdad in
the first few minutes and took out the nation's air defense
command and control system.
The F-117A was the work horse of
the Coalition strategic air campaign. The 42 aircraft in-theatre
flew more than 1,200 combat sorties, over 6,900 combat hours and
delivering more than 2,000 tons of ordnance with pin point
accuracy. They took out numerous hardened aircraft
shelters, bridges, railroad choke points, major highways and
other targets. The remarkable thing about this impressive
record is that none were ever detected, much less fired
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