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Twenty-one years ago this week (Thursday, 17 January 1991), USAF/Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk aircraft were employed against more than 31 percent of Iraqi targets during the initial 24 hours of Operation Desert Storm.  This high utilization rate came despite the fact that the Nighthawk comprised a mere 2.5 percent of all Coalition aircraft used in the Persian Gulf War air campaign.  The Black Jet’s unique stealth characteristics allowed it to attack high-value military targets with impunity in the Baghdad area despite the city’s heavy SAM and AAA defenses.  Moreover, the use of precision-guided weapons provided for target elimination while minimizing collateral damage and civilian casualties.  By the end of hostilities, F-117A forces had flown 1,300 missions and dropped in excess of 2,000 tons of ordnance.   Roughly 1,600 targets were struck at a success rate of 80 percent.  No Nighthawk aircraft or pilot was lost in the conflict.  The F-117A’s phenomenal success during Operation Desert Storm led her air and ground crews to coin this bold motto; “We own the night.”

Posted in Aerospace, History

Comments

Scott Taylor January 18, 2012

“By the end of hostilities, F-117A forces had flown 1,300 missions and dropped in excess of 2,000 lbs of ordnance.”

Wow! A whole 1 1/2 pounds per sortie. That is impressive! :(

J. Terry White January 19, 2012

Thanks for catching this oopsie!

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