FRIDAY FOTO (May 21, 2021)

May 21, 2021 at 8:33 am Leave a comment

Jingle-Jangle Jets.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander Cook) Click on photo to enlarge image.

Two U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighters and two French Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft break formation May 18, 2021 over France. The flight was part of Atlantic Trident 21, a joint, multinational exercise involving forces from the United States, France and the United Kingdom.

The exercise is aimed at enhancing fourth(Rafale)  and fifth generation (Lightning II) fighter integration, combat readiness and fighting capabilities, through complex air operations in a contested environment.

The F-35s are assigned to the 4th Fighter Squadron, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The Rafales are assigned to the 1/4 Gascogne Fighter Squadron, 113 at Saint-Dizier-Robinson air base, France.

New Material

BTW, we understand that in French, Rafale means something along the lines of a “gust” (as in sudden wind). In French-speaking military circles it can also mean “a burst of [gun] fire.”

We figure 4GWAR visitors know what lightning is, but did you know the F-35 is called Lightning II to honor another Lockheed-manufactured warplane: The U.S. Army Air Force P-38 Lightning of World War II.  The unique-looking P-38 was flown by the top-ranked U.S. air ace, Major Richard Bong, who shot down 40 Japanese planes. His closest rival, Major Thomas McGuire, shot down 38 Japanese aircraft before he was killed in January 1945.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the legendary French aviation pioneer and writer (The Little Prince), was flying a photo reconnaissance (unarmed) variant of the P-38 when he disappeared over the Mediterranean in July 1944.

On April 18, 1943, a flight of U.S. 16 P-38s intercepted and shot down the plane carrying Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the architect of Japan’s naval strategy in the Pacific including the attack on Pearl Harbor. Yamamoto was killed.

Entry filed under: Air and Missile Defense, Air Force, Aircraft, FRIDAY FOTO, National Security and Defense, Photos, Skills and Training, Technology, Weaponry and Equipment, World War II. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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