We cannot send you into the weekend without an appropriate dose of Mach Diamonds and reheat, and we have a beauty for you. Not only is it a shout-out to our brothers and sisters in the Wild Weasel community, but also a shout-out to the “Warhawks” and their record of more than 50 years of distinguished flying in defense of America’s interests abroad.
The 480th Fighter Squadron, the Warhawks, currently flies the Block 50 F-16CJ Fighting Falcon, referred to in the community Viper and”Super Weasel,” because of its primary mission: the suppression and destruction of enemy air defenses (SEAD/DEAD).
Throughout the history of airplanes designed specifically to hunt and kill other airplanes, there have been some truly awe-inspiring designs. I can’t speak for the rest of you, but since the first moment I saw the Lockheed-Martin F-22 Raptor, my heart–and my breath–was stolen in spectacular fashion.
While I certainly mean no disrespect to the Mighty Mighty, the Viper, or even the Flanker family of jets designed by Sukhoi, there is just something absolutely captivating about the world’s only operational 5th-Generation fighter. I will admit to some bias, as several of my best friends fly or used to fly the Raptor.