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F22 Raptors escort Pope Francis's plane during US tour

CougarKing

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Raptor Pilot: This is Bravo Six to Andrews, Shepherd One has left our ADIZ!"

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U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors protected Pope Francis’s Boeing 777 during his US tour.
Oct 02 2015

By Dario Leone
A photo unveiled the presence of two Raptors close to “Shepherd One.”
During Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, the U.S. government carried out one of the largest domestic protective security operations in its history.

In fact, each U.S. military branch, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service (which is usually tasked to protect US president and vice president), and local-state police departments, joined together conducting a huge escort operation  to safeguard the Pope from a wide variety of attack possibilities.

As unveiled by Ian D’Costa in his article “America Deployed its Best Fighter to Cover the Pope’s Tour of the Country,” on Tacairnet.com, it seems that this impressive contingent also included the Lockheed Martin F-22, the U.S. Air Force fifth generation stealth fighter.

Indeed, as reported by D’Costa, shortly after Pope’s American Airlines Boeing 777 departed from New York heading to Philadelphia, a planespotter named Robert Dube, took a picture of an Airbus taking off from John F. Kennedy international airport with a KC-10 Extender refuelling a pair of F-22s in the background (top image).

(...SNIPPED)
 

geo

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Would been nice to see an escort by F35s ... That would lead us to believe that it is or was the world's best fighter that Canada planned on buying.
Which leads us to wonder why we weren't trying to buy the F22.... Even if the US isn't selling.
 

SupersonicMax

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geo said:
Would been nice to see an escort by F35s ... That would lead us to believe that it is or was the world's best fighter that Canada planned on buying.
Which leads us to wonder why we weren't trying to buy the F22.... Even if the US isn't selling.

Because it doesn't do what we need a fighter to do? 

It doesn't have a HMCS, no targetting pod so not suitable for CAS or even AI (to the extend we need).  It is a pure Air Supremacy fighter fitted with bombs after the fact, instead of a well integrated multi-role aircraft.
 

Good2Golf

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SupersonicMax said:
Because it doesn't do what we need a fighter to do? 

It doesn't have a HMCS, no targetting pod so not suitable for CAS or even AI (to the extend we need).  It is a pure Air Supremacy fighter fitted with bombs after the fact, instead of a well integrated multi-role aircraft.

That, and F-22 is non-exportable. 
 

cupper

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Not to mention that the F-35B was only declared operational by the Marines on July 31st, and the A model is still not operational. And the operational declaration only allows production to go full out to fulfill purchase orders which have yet to be finalized.

So even if they wanted to have an F-35 do escort duty, there wouldn't have been active duty aircraft available to do so.
 
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