After the alleged approval from the Trump administration over the nod to sell F-22 Raptors to Israel, officials in the Jewish nation have reportedly denied any such developments according to various defense news portals.
The news first surfaced at the Saudi-owned news site Ahraq Al Awsat a week ago, which revealed that Washington has approved the sales of F-22 Raptor to Israel for maintaining its ‘qualitative military edge’ in the region.
According to the US federal laws, the foreign military sale of the F-22 Raptor is forbidden to protect its stealth technologies and classified features.
The F-22 was one of the most expensive programs for a fighter aircraft, and during its development, the United States Congress ensured the U.S. military couldn’t share the technology with anyone.
According to the Al-Awsat report, it mentioned: “Esper informed the officials that President Donald Trump has approved the sale of F-22 fighter jets and precision-guided bombs, according to senior sources in Tel Aviv.”
The F-22 Raptor is considered to be the world’s first and only effective true 5th-generation fighter jet in service, with highly advanced stealth features even compared to its younger F-35.
However, the effectiveness of the stealth characteristics is difficult to gauge. The RCS (Radar cross-section) value is a restrictive measurement of the aircraft’s frontal or side area from the perspective of a static radar.
When an aircraft maneuvers it exposes a completely different set of angles and surface area, potentially increasing radar observability. Furthermore, the F-22’s stealth contouring and radar-absorbent materials are chiefly effective against high-frequency radars, usually found on other aircraft.
The effects of Rayleigh scattering and resonance mean that low-frequency radars such as weather radars and early-warning radars are more likely to detect the F-22 due to its physical size. However, such radars are also conspicuous, susceptible to clutter and have low precision.
The aircraft saw its first combat use when the United States intervened to stop the growing threat of ISIL in its tracks in 2014, and conducted some of the opening strikes of Operation Inherent Resolve, dropping 1,000-pound GPS-guided bombs on Islamic State targets near Tishrin Dam.
Between September 2014 and July 2015, the F-22s flew 204 sorties over Syria, dropping 270 bombs at some 60 locations. Throughout their deployment, F-22s conducted close air support (CAS) and also deterred Syrian, Iranian, and Russian aircraft from attacking U.S.-backed Kurdish forces and disrupting U.S. operations in the region.
The F-22s also participated in the U.S. strikes on pro-government forces in eastern Syria on 7 February 2018. Additionally, F-22’s other key role in the operation has been gathering intelligence, surveillance, and conducting reconnaissance missions.
In an interesting event that happened in 2013, American F-22 raptors shooed away two IRIAF F-4 Phantoms when they were scrambled to intercept an MQ-1 UAV. One of the F-22 Raptor pilots flying escort for the drone flew up underneath the Iranian Phantoms.
According to then-Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, the Raptor pilot checked out the armaments the Iranian planes were carrying, then pulled up on their left-wing and radioed them to ‘go back home’, which the Iranians actually did.