Raptor pilots have been trained to fly their aircraft much like submarines. A constant balance of detection and stealth, killing and spying. Over the years I’ve gathered bundles of information here and there from defense publications, books, I even went on a tour of lockheed burbank and asked as many questions as I could.
I was just wondering if anyone else has done much research in this field. Tactics are highly classified but some have slipped into the spheres of conversation that allow us to have a conversation. from my brief understanding Raptors fly into bandit country above the strike package at a very specific angle off from the strike package and using the D/L with the legacy fleet search for emissions from enemy fighters.
One raptor is designated the shooter, another is the hold, meaning he flies a minimum safe perimeter near the FLOT, or the strike package, the two left are called sheep dogs, and once the shot comes off the shooter, if it misses, or if they go defense to the 090 or the 270 in relation to the shot the sheep dog take the second shot. the shooter goes high, using awacs or datalink positions himself within killing range below the plain of the wings of the enemy aircraft if possible, closing to gun range and destroying the enemy target with no emissions. If the holder gets a radar spike from the shooter , or the distances become too close for the strike package to remain outside of danger the holder can shoot or go active emissions to deter the flight of the bandit.
I was intrigued by this topic after reading some public talk about red flag in 2015, which said most of the raptors kills came from the gun on aircraft that were flying straight and level. If you empty your gun before going to AMRAAMs and aim9s you can rack up kills. One pilot at Red flag 2017 was said to have killed 12 simulated enemy aircraft before anyone even made visual.
I also came across rumors that well back, in the era of the 4th gen +, raptors were being invited to play at red flag and no one knew what was killing them, before they were officially rolled out operational during the early 00’s. I can’t confirm that, but it would make a cool movie.
Just thought this would be an interesting topic, stealth tactics are classified but much can be learned from the past, when there was no radar everything was stealth if you didn’t find it with your eyeball. Bill Sweatman has written a number of books on the raptor for further reading look there.
Let me add there here first, due to my nickname…
Flying the Raptor >50k ft + >1.5mach + wearing 6x -120D’s internally + with no worries on fuel + been stealthy, = you don’t need a tactic… lol
They will need “tactics” when the Legion Pod (or similar onboard or external solutions) will become operational and deployed to its enemies…