Somewhere high above the UK a USAF KC-135 tanker from RAF Mildenhall’s 100th Air Refuelling Wing tops up the tanks on a flight of F-22 Raptor’s, the American airforce’s latest fighter.
This part of a video by Staff Sgt Nathan Tucker shows one of the 62ft long multi-purpose fighters backing off after taking on fuel and rejoining its flight.
The $143 million dollar jets, capable of Mach 2 – twice the speed of sound– can carry 11.900kg of fuel giving a cruising range of 1,850 miles, but with in-flight refuelling it can fly non-stop anywhere in the world.
The F-22 will eventually replace the USAF’s F-15s at RAF Lakenheath. The USAF says: “Its combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in war fighting capabilities.”
See the full-length video at www.dvidshub.net