Hobby Master HA5805 USAF Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk Stealth Attack Aircraft - "Vega 31" "Operation Allied Force" 7th Fighter Squadron "Screamin Demons", Kosovo War, 1999 (1:72 Scale)
"The F-117 was the only airplane that the planners dared risk over downtown Baghdad."
- The United States Air Force
The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk is a retired American single-seat, twin-engine stealth attack aircraft that was developed by Lockheed's secretive Skunk Works division and operated by the United States Air Force (USAF). The F-117 was based on the Have Blue technology demonstrator.
The Nighthawk was the first operational aircraft to be designed around stealth technology. Its maiden flight took place in 1981 at Groom Lake, Nevada, and the aircraft achieved initial operating capability status in 1983. The Nighthawk was shrouded in secrecy until it was revealed to the public in 1988. Of the 64 F-117s built, 59 were production versions, with the other five being prototypes.
The F-117 was widely publicized for its role in the Persian Gulf War of 1991. Although it was commonly referred to as the "Stealth Fighter", it was strictly a ground-attack aircraft. F-117s took part in the conflict in Yugoslavia, where one was shot down by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) in 1999; it was the only Nighthawk to be lost in combat. The U.S. Air Force retired the F-117 in 2008, primarily due to the fielding of the F-22 Raptor.
Pictured here is a spectacular 1:72 scale diecast replica of a F117A Nighthawk stealth attack aircraft that was attached to the 7th Fighter Squadron "Screamin Demons", then participating in "Operation Allied Force", over Kosovo, during 1999.
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Release Date: September 2019
Historical Account: "Operation Allied Force" - The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) during the Kosovo War. The air strikes lasted from March 24th, 1999 to June 10th, 1999. The official NATO operation code name was Operation Allied Force; the United States called it "Operation Noble Anvil", while in Yugoslavia, the operation was incorrectly called "Merciful Angel", as a result of a misunderstanding or mis-translation. The bombings continued until an agreement was reached that led to the withdrawal of Yugoslav armed forces from Kosovo, and the establishment of United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), a UN peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.
The bloodshed, ethnic cleansing of thousands of Albanians driving them into neighboring countries, and the potential of it to destabilize the region provoked intervention by international organizations and agencies, such as the United Nations, NATO, and INGOs. NATO countries attempted to gain authorization from the United Nations Security Council for military action, but were opposed by China and Russia that indicated they would veto such a proposal. NATO launched a campaign without UN authorization, which it described as a humanitarian intervention. The FRY described the NATO campaign as an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign country that was in violation of international law because it did not have UN Security Council support.
The bombing killed between 489 and 528 civilians, and destroyed bridges, industrial plants, public buildings, private businesses, as well as barracks and military installations. In the days after the Yugoslav army withdrew, over 164,000 Serbs (around 75%)[not in citation given] and 24,000 Roma (around 85%) left Kosovo and many of the remaining civilians were victims of abuse. After Kosovo and other Yugoslav Wars, Serbia became home to the highest number of refugees and IDPs (including Kosovo Serbs) in Europe.
The NATO bombing marked the second major combat operation in its history, following the 1995 NATO bombing campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was the first time that NATO had used military force without the approval of the UN Security Council.