F-35s Have Flown Their First “Red Air” Missions As Dedicated Stealth Aggressors

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Red Flag Debuts its first use of F-35As in an aggressor role during Red Flag 21-3 (July. 28 – Aug. 8) as can be seen by this F-35A wearing the distinctive WA (Western Air) tail code. Full storyReturn to The Florida Pilot

U.S. Air Force F-35A stealth fighters have begun operating as red air aggressors during high-end training. The fifth-generation jets are currently making their debut in the latest edition of the Red Flag exercise at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, as part of a wider initiative to increase the service’s ability to mimic the kinds of stealthy threats operated by potential foes, primarily China and Russia.

The Air Force has confirmed that, while F-35s have been used to augment dedicated aggressors in previous Red Flag exercises, they had not before been manned by dedicated aggressor pilots. That has changed with Red Flag 21-3, which is being run from July 19 through August 6 and that involves 15 different squadrons and more than 2,200 personnel drawn from across the United States.