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This is a discussion on USAF News and Discussion within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Apologies to the moderators. I have posted two paragraphs below which was taken verbatim - some off-topic - from a ...


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Old June 9th, 2014   #16
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Apologies to the moderators. I have posted two paragraphs below which was taken verbatim - some off-topic - from a discussion I recently had with someone else. I posted it here as its relevent to the topic and would be interest to those who have commented on the F-22s in Malaysia exercise. Thank you.

As for the USAF’s F/A-22 Raptors making their maiden Southeast Asian deployment in Malaysia, it was an extremely well-thought move by both Malaysia & the US. The latter could not count on either Thailand or Singapore to host the Raptors as both are heavily dependent on China’s goodwill for economic survival & don’t want their investments inside China to be destroyed by rampaging Chinese mobs. The Philippines, Brunei Darussalam & Cambodia have no such investments, while Indonesia is a neutral party to the territorial disputes in the South China Sea. That leaves Malaysia with minimal investments in China as being the only party willing to host a high-profile temporary USAF detachment. Malaysia over the past few months had been feeling the heat from the US about Iran sanctions-bursting (see: Financial Times links Malaysia to sanctions-breaking sale of Iran oil | Malaysia | The Malay Mail Online) & Putra Jaya therefore wanted to get back into the good books of Uncle Sam through some tangible gesture. Thus, when the US proposed the Raptors’ deployment, Putra Jaya saw this as tantamounting to killing two birds with one stone: i.e. getting close to the US; & ‘engaging’ China constructively by sending a strong signal to Beijing about Malaysia’s options on maintaining a ‘coalition of the willing’. Though Malaysia does not see China as an immediate military threat, it has sufficient reason to be worried.

It will be interesting to see the conduct of the exercises from Butterworth air base, since that air base also hosts visiting RAAF detachments. Also note that the USAF is not deploying any AWACS platforms—meaning the Raptors’ deployment is merely symbolic (unless the RAAF’s B.737NG AEW & CS platforms participate). Had there been an intent to practice serious dissimilar air combat manoeuvres, then AWACS would have arrived from Kadena or continental US, & the Raptors would have been operating out of Kuantan air base facing the South China Sea. From a Malaysian perspective, the TUDM/RMAF will get its first crack at comparing the supermanoeuvrability characteristics of the Su-30MKM & the Raptor. Also, during the ‘merge’ during both daytime & by night, it will be interesting to see whether the Su-30MKM’s & MiG-29N’s on-board IRSTs serve as force-multipliers against the F-15Cs & Raptors in terms of ‘look-first, shoot-first’ capability.


Some pics below of RMAF Su-30MKMs and Super Hornets from the USS George Washington in 2012. The USAAF has been conducting Cope Taufan with the RMAF for almost 20 years; the first Cope Taufan exercise involving Su-30MKMs was in 2012. As far as I can tell it was also the first time that the Su-30MKMs had participated in a bilateral exercise.

http://www.pacaf.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123297640
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Old June 9th, 2014   #17
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The US regularly holds joint military training with different militaries in the region and I think it's more of a coincidence that it was the RMAF's turn to play host. I really don't think it's likely Chinese mobs would go,after Singaporean or Thai interests should they engage in joint exercises with the US as they have often,done in the past. Per the linked,article, the trade and investment relationship between Malaysia and China is actually quite robust.

Mobs in China only happen,with the government's blessing and I don't see Beijing jeopardizing relations with KL over an exercise, specially when the former seems to want to mend fences over it's hostile behavior in relation to the MH370 incident. For,KL,though, there may be some satisfaction in thumbing it's nose at China. For the US, it's an opportunity to demonstrate it's resolve to remain a player in the region by parading it's most advanced fighter. I think we will see more "showing the flag" joint exercises by the US going forward. There will,also be a very high-profile deployment of an LCS force operating out of,Singapore.


Malaysia Works At Cultivating Strong Economic Ties With China
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Old June 9th, 2014   #18
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Both countries have been conducting Cope Taufan on an annual basis for 20 years now. To me at least, I doubt it's a mere coincidence that a decision was made for F-22s to participate in this year's exercise.
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Old June 9th, 2014   #19
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Both countries have been conducting Cope Taufan on an annual basis for 20 years now. To me at least, I doubt it's a mere coincidence that a decision was made for F-22s to participate in this year's exercise.
Yes, I agree. IMO the US likely pushed for the inclusion of F-22s to send it's own message to countries in the region and I foresee more of the same going forward. Just a matter of time before the F-35 makes it's debut as well.
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Old June 9th, 2014   #20
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Mobs in China only happen,with the government's blessing
Nope. There are real protests sometimes, & quite often they catch the government on the hop. Not publicised anywhere near as much as the semi-official anti-foreigner mobs, often dispersed violently (not always - sometimes the state appeases them, usually when the problem is blatantly corrupt local officials or illegal practices by businesses), but they're a lot more common than most outsiders think.

China’s Anti-Pollution Protests Grow Increasingly Violent - China Real Time Report - WSJ.
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Old June 9th, 2014   #21
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Yes, I agree. IMO the US likely pushed for the inclusion of F-22s to send it's own message to countries in the region and I foresee more of the same going forward.
Not just Asia, USAAF recently deployed a detachment of F-22's to Poland related to Ukrainian crisis. Effective message to some degree
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Old June 9th, 2014   #22
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Nope. There are real protests sometimes, & quite often they catch the government on the hop. Not publicised anywhere near as much as the semi-official anti-foreigner mobs, often dispersed violently (not always - sometimes the state appeases them, usually when the problem is blatantly corrupt local officials or illegal practices by businesses), but they're a lot more common than most outsiders think.

China’s Anti-Pollution Protests Grow Increasingly Violent - China Real Time Report - WSJ.
Point taken.
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Old June 9th, 2014   #23
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Not just Asia, USAAF recently deployed a detachment of F-22's to Poland related to Ukrainian crisis. Effective message to some degree
..and previously F-22s and B-2s giving pause to Pyongyang. Then there's that Raptor pilot with a Maverick moment, toying with an Iranian F-4 and telling it's oblivious pilot "best to,go home" or words to,that effect..
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Old September 29th, 2014   #24
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I recall RAF Fairford got B52 and B2 presence during the initial Ukrainian crises ! kind of USAF show of force in europe area.

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Old October 8th, 2014   #25
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From a Malaysian perspective, the TUDM/RMAF will get its first crack at comparing the supermanoeuvrability characteristics of the Su-30MKM & the Raptor. Also, during the ‘merge’ during both daytime & by night, it will be interesting to see whether the Su-30MKM’s & MiG-29N’s on-board IRSTs serve as force-multipliers against the F-15Cs & Raptors in terms of ‘look-first, shoot-first’ capability. [/I]
Curious comment. Why would an IRST offer a 'look first' capability during a 'merge'? All aircraft will be in visual range during such short ranged activities...
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Old October 8th, 2014   #26
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Curious comment. Why would an IRST offer a 'look first' capability during a 'merge'? All aircraft will be in visual range during such short ranged activities...
Super Hornet Tests New Infrared Air to Air Targeting Sensor - USNI News

I don't know if "Merge" is quite right as the technical term here, but leading up to to being inside visual range, you can see the general idea in the article above.
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Old October 8th, 2014   #27
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Looking forward to the synergy created when the F-35 enters service. Couple it's superior multi-sensor suite and data linking capabilities with the Raptor's superior kinematic performance and it's bad news for potential foes.
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Old December 28th, 2014   #28
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The USAFs next generation tanker has made her maiden flight today.

The USAF's KC-46 Pegasus Tanker Finally Takes Flight

The latter is from the same source about when she was caught doing high speed taxi runs yesterday.

Exclusive: Meet*The USAF's Long Awaited*KC-46A Pegasus Tanker*

The USAF ultimately wants 179 of these, first production deliveries are due to start early 2016 with 18 to be delivered by August 2017.

If I've understood things properly, the KC-46 is down to replace the KC-135, but there's 400+ of the latter in their inventory?

EDIT: just reading about the procurement strategy, KC-X, KC-Y and KC-Z, very interesting.

Last edited by RobWilliams; December 28th, 2014 at 03:20 PM.
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Old December 29th, 2014   #29
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Super Hornet Tests New Infrared Air to Air Targeting Sensor - USNI News

I don't know if "Merge" is quite right as the technical term here, but leading up to to being inside visual range, you can see the general idea in the article above.
Yep absolutely, but the previous poster seemed to be opining that the presence of a forward looking IRST would be an advantage during a turning WVR fight...

I don't think anyone here seriously thinks a forward looking IRST sensor provides 'first look first shot' capability in comparison to an APG-77 AESA radar (I hope!)

Which is why I found it a peculiar comment...
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Old January 7th, 2015   #30
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The USAFs next generation tanker has made her maiden flight today.

The USAF's KC-46 Pegasus Tanker Finally Takes Flight

The latter is from the same source about when she was caught doing high speed taxi runs yesterday.

Exclusive: Meet*The USAF's Long Awaited*KC-46A Pegasus Tanker*

The USAF ultimately wants 179 of these, first production deliveries are due to start early 2016 with 18 to be delivered by August 2017.

If I've understood things properly, the KC-46 is down to replace the KC-135, but there's 400+ of the latter in their inventory?

EDIT: just reading about the procurement strategy, KC-X, KC-Y and KC-Z, very interesting.
Why do I get the feeling that the USAF would have been happier with the KC-30?
In service with allies already, larger, more capable, previously selected by the USAF, better value for money.
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