15:12 GMT +321 August 2019
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    An F-117 stealth fighter jet is inspected after it landed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Monday, March 10, 2008, in Dayton, Ohio

    Nighthawk Down: Legendary F-117 Stealth Fighter May Meet Its Final End

    © AP Photo / Al Behrman
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    A fleet of US stealth fighters that remained in a state of semi-retirement for about 8 years may end up scrapped due to a new legislation.

    Despite the fact that it was officially retired in 2008, the Congress decreed that all F-117s were to be maintained 'in a condition that would allow recall of that aircraft to future service.'

    In fact, several F-117s were even spotted flying over the Nevada desert, possibly employed in some military testing program.

    However, House Armed Services Committee has recently voted to get rid of the provision which requires maintaining these aircraft in operational status, having apparently deemed their upkeep as too expensive. Therefore, the F-117 stealth fighters appear to be destined to 'be torn apart or less likely, scavenged for hard-to-find parts,' according to Flightglobal news website.

    The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, the first operational aircraft to be designed around stealth technology, made its maiden flight in 1981 and since then was employed in several armed conflicts across the world. Only one F-117 was lost in combat, shot down by a Soviet-made S-125 Neva (NATO reporting name: SA-3 Goa) surface-to-air missile system during the NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999.


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    legislation, retirement, stealth aircraft, Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, US Congress, United States
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