The deployment of these F-35s aimed to enhance regional security and dissuade actions by Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf while influencing the behavior of a Russian pilot.
The dispatch of F-35A Lightning II aircraft from Hill Air Force Base to the CENTCOM area has instigated a favorable shift in the conduct of a Russian Pilot.
According to an article published by The Aviationist, the deployment of F-35A Lightning II aircraft from Hill Air Force Base to the CENTCOM area has led to a positive change in Russian pilot behavior. These F-35s were sent to promote regional security and deter Iran’s actions in the Persian Gulf.
Previously, Russian Su-35s, piloted by Russian pilots, had engaged in aggressive interactions with U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drones. However, since the F-35 deployment, Russian intercepts by Russian pilot of U.S. drones have decreased in frequency and aggressiveness.
This shift in Russian pilot behavior may be attributed to the combined presence of various U.S. military assets in the region, including F-16s, A-10s, and a P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft.
Historically, U.S. stealth fighters, including F-22s, have played a crucial role in deterring potentially dangerous situations in the Middle East involving Russian pilot.
Examples include F-22s intercepting Iranian F-4s near a U.S. MQ-1 Predator drone and F-22s intercepting Syrian Su-24s in the vicinity of U.S. Special Operations Forces.
According to an article published by Air and Space Forces, although these stealth fighters often operate without stealth capabilities in the region and employ radar reflectors, their presence has had a notable impact on Russian pilot behavior.
In Europe, Russian pilot behavior has also been influenced by previous incidents, such as a Su-27’s collision with an MQ-9 over the Black Sea. U.S. Air Forces in Europe Commander Gen. James B. Hecker reported that the Russian pilot have been “relatively safe and professional” since this incident.
Overall, the deployment of F-35s and other U.S. assets has contributed to a decrease in aggressive Russian pilot actions in the CENTCOM area of responsibility and reflects the ongoing dynamics of deterrence in the region.