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Advanced Stealth: How An F-22 Raptor Flew Under An Iranian Fighter

F-22 Iran
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jonathan Foster, 49th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, crew chief, from Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. removes the intake covers of an F-22 Raptor before a training mission during Red Flag 11-3 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., March 2, 2011. Red Flag is a realistic combat training exercise involving the air forces of the United States and its allies. The exercise takes place north of Las Vegas on the Nevada Test and Training Range--the U.S. Air Force's premier military training area with more than 12,000 square miles of airspace and 2.9 million acres of land. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth/Released).

The U.S. and Iran, despite decades of tension, have never gone to war with each other. There’s been a hostage crisis, and Iran assisting some elements during the Iraq War, and the U.S. assassinating Qasem Soleimani, the longtime head of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

While there’s never been a war, there have been some skirmishes. This week, Sandboxx told the story of one of them.

“An Iranian fighter pilot was closing with an American drone in international airspace when he was shocked to find a stealthy American F-22 Raptor flying right alongside him,” the piece said. “According to reports, the F-22 pilot radioed to the encroaching Iranian jet and offered a bit of friendly advice before he and his wingman promptly bugged out. Even a two-to-one advantage over the Raptor simply wasn’t enough to make it a fight they wanted to have.”

It had its roots in November of 2012, when two of IRGC’s Su-25 Frogfoot attack aircraft spotted an American MQ-1 Predator drone, in international waters 16 miles from the Iranian coast.

“According to reports released to the press after the fact, the Iranian Frogfoots closed with the slow-moving drone and opened fire using their 30mm cannons. After making multiple strafing runs, however, the MQ-1 remained entirely intact, and the two Su-25s broke off their pursuit–likely because both had expended all 250 rounds they carried onboard for the large gun.”

The incident was enough to change how the U.S. conducts such operations–they have since begun flying fighter escorts, sometimes with F/A-18 Super Hornets.

F-22 ‘Advanced Stealth’ 

That led to the event in 2013 when, once again, an MQ-1 Predator was surveilling the Iranian coast. Iranian fighters, once again, spotted it, but soon that F-22 Raptor appeared, in “advanced stealth,” and piloted by Lt. Col. Kevin “Showtime” Sutterfield.

“Showtime closed with the encroaching F-4 Phantom in Hollywood style worthy of his callsign, taking the sleek Raptor under the Iranian fighter to inspect the weapons it was carrying without being seen. While reports haven’t indicated what munitions the Phantom was equipped with, it seems clear that Showtime wasn’t impressed,” Sandboxx reported of the events of that day.

“From beneath the F-4 Phantom, now only miles from its MQ-1 Predator target, Showtime banked left and picked up some altitude. He brought his Raptor up and in line with the Phantom just in time to see what must have been one very shocked Iranian fighter pilot as he quite possibly made a mess in his pants. Just to make his point clear, Showtime hopped on the radio.”

At that point, he said “You really oughta go home.”

 Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Alfa

    October 22, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    Its like a Novel , Fake Stories , Without any evidence , If U or USAF could affix a clear evidence ( Photo , Video , …. ) !!! Dear Silver is better & logical include something like Iranian Downed RQ-4 Story , Documented Clearly & Globally

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