Retired from service F-117 bombers appeared again over Death Valley

Two years ago the world was abuzz with the news of the appearance of F-117 Nighthawk aircraft in the skies over California and Nevada. Observers reported that the machines had been modified and were now autonomous.

Looking futuristic and featuring reduced radar detection technology, the F-117 bombers were retired from service with the U.S. Air Force 12 years ago. For nearly a decade they were not seen in the sky and did not participate in any missions. At least that was the official position of the US government.

Meanwhile, the USAF has not gotten rid of them all. A few were until recently kept at one of the bases, where they would undergo modifications using autonomous technologies to turn them into the world’s most modern bombers. This became clear in August 2018 when two different machines were seen near the secretive Tonopah Test Range facility in Nevada, where the most futuristic air vehicle prototypes of the future are rumored to be designed, built and tested.

Now we learn that this was not false information. The Dutch Scramble Magazine has reported that the Pentagon has kept its one of the key projects of the future secret for many years, namely the transformation of aviation icons into autonomous remote killing machines. The F-117s were spotted over Area 51, shrouded in mystery, located at Groom Lake in Nevada.

A few days ago, Toshihiko Shimizu, an aviation enthusiast, spotted an F-117 in the sky during his trip through Death Valley. The machine was seen by him at 9:30 in the morning. “I saw a black shadow in the sky in Star Wars Canyon. I only realized what I was dealing with when I looked at the display on my camera. The F-117 came in from the south, then turned right and headed north. It flew over the canyon twice and then disappeared,” said Toshihiko Shimizu.

Scramble Magazine editors reported that at least 4 F-117 Nighthawk aircraft were seen in the skies over Iraq and Syria in 2017 and 2018. One of them even had an emergency landing in the desert. They were most likely not involved in any airstrikes, but were tested in conditions most similar to those in which they might be used in the future. The magazine also reports that in addition to autonomous technologies, a new generation of stealth technology, or reduced radar detectability, was also tested.

It is no secret here that the United States has been preparing for war with Iran for several years. The attack on this country, as in the case of Afghanistan and Iraq, will be carried out from the air, and only later, when the key enemy infrastructure has been destroyed, can ground troops begin to operate. The Pentagon will use F-117 drones to kill two birds with one stone. The Air Force won’t feel sorry if for some reason it loses its old machines, and no pilots will die either, because there won’t be any on board the bombers.

Scramble Magazine reports that a total of 50 F-117s were to be scrapped in 2008, with the USAF saying it would dismantle 4 aircraft per year, so after 11 years, 44 should be gone. Meanwhile, the few remaining pieces were to be used in new projects to create autonomous weapons. Google recently faced a huge wave of criticism, when the information about the company’s close cooperation with the Pentagon on the issues of building autonomous robots, drones and aircraft for future military conflicts came to light.

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