In the 1970’s Soviet air defense systems improved and the U.S. realized they had to develop aircraft to counter this. Lockheed Skunk Works was tasked with the job and two aircraft were built under the code name “Have Blue” that proved stealth aircraft could be produced. As a result the F-117 Nighthawk was developed and first flew in 1981 with the first production F-117 80-10785 making its maiden flight on April 20, 1982 but it wasn’t until 1988 that the Pentagon confirmed its existence.
Lockheed Martin F-117A 88-0842 was C/N A.4067 and the 58th F-117 to be manufactured. The aircraft’s maiden flight took place on March 13, 1990 and was accepted on March 28, 1990. In December 1990 F-117A “It’s Hammertime” arrived in Saudi Arabia with the 416th TFS where it completed 33 missions. Later assigned to the 49th FW (The Fighting Forty Niners) /8th FS (Black Sheep) it completed 23 missions during Operation Allied Force and 9 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. On January 29, 2008 “It’s Hammertime” was retired.