Scramble: F-117 stealth fighters were secretly deployed to the Middle East
Scramble, a Dutch aviation magazine, has reported that four F-117 stealth fighters were secretly deployed to the Middle East in 2017.
According to Scramble’s report, at least four F-117 ‘Nighthawk’ stealth fighters were deployed to the Middle East as an operational need emerged for the United States Air Force.
“Back in 2017, and not published by any other source so far, Scramble received very reliable information that at least four F-117s were deployed to the Middle East as an operational need emerged for the USAF to resurrect the stealth F-117 for special purposes”, reported aviation magazine.
Also added that one of the deployed aircraft was involved in an in-flight emergency and landed far away from its temporary home base that was likely located in Saudi Arabia, the UAE or Qatar.
The worlds first operational stealth fighter, the F-117 Nighthawk made its maiden flight on 18 June, 1981.
In the ensuing years, the project would be kept under the strictest of secrecy, with all training conducted at night, prepping the Nighthawk for its stunning debut over the skies of Iraq. Over the ensuring weeks, Nighthawks would strike with remarkable accuracy, helping bring the campaign to a successful end in just 43 days.
The Nighthawk wasn’t revealed to the public until 1988.
Although retired in 2008, the F-117 would be the basis upon which subsequent stealth fighters, including the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II, would be designed. As remarked during a banquet celebrating the plane’s achievements in 2008, before the F-117, the question to ask was how many aircraft were needed to take out a target. After the Nighthawk, the question was how many targets could be taken out with a single aircraft.