Thursday, March 15, 2007

Perspective: Once-secret F-117s retiring

An F-117 over Iraq. The F-117s were chosen for first strikes in Operations Desert Storm, Allied Force and Iraqi Freedom.

A fighter once so secret that the Air Force kept the jets hidden from sight is now flying off to the boneyard — albeit a high-security boneyard.

On Monday, six stealth F-117 Nighthawks left Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., for storage at the Tonopah Test Range, north of Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Once the jets arrive at Tonopah, the wings will be removed and the jets stored in their original hangars.

Most retired Air Force planes go to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center near Tucson, Ariz. But with some aspects of the F-117 still classified, a more secure retirement home was chosen.

By the end of the decade, all 55 of the F-117s will be retired, replaced at Holloman by the F-22A Raptor.

Read the rest at Air Force Times