US Deploys Dozens of F-22 Raptor near contested islands in the South China Sea

US Air Force Sends Dozens of F-22 Fighter Jets to Pacific Amid Taiwan Tensions with China

The United States Air Force sent more than two dozen F-22 stealth fighters to an exercise in the western Pacific this month, an unusually large deployment of powerful jets that analysts say sends a strong message to a possible adversary in China.

Pacific Air Forces in Hawaii this week said about 25 F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard and from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, will be deployed this month to the islands of Guam and Tinian for Operation Pacific Iron 2022.

“We’ve never had this many Raptors deployed together in the Pacific Air Force area of ??operations.

The F-22 is a fifth-generation fighter jet, the most advanced fighter in the world, combining stealth technology and linking on-board sensor systems with off-board information systems to give their pilots a detailed view of the battle space.

Deploying large numbers of F-22s for drills sends a direct message to China at a time of tense relations over Pacific hotspots such as Taiwan and the South China Sea, said Carl Schuster, a Hawaii-based defense analyst and former director of operations at Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center. US.
A normal F-22 deployment consists of six to 12 aircraft.

“The Pacific Air Force is demonstrating that it can deploy as many or more fifth-generation aircraft to the theater in a shorter period of time than (China) currently has in its entire inventory.

The U.S. Air Force has about 180 F-22s in its fleet, though only about half are mission capable at any one time due to maintenance requirements, according to Air Force statistics. So the US will send about 25% of F-22 missions to the Pacific Iron exercise.

Due to its ability to evade radar detection, the F-22 is expected to be one of the first ωεɑρσռs to be used in any conflict, tasked with destroying enemy air defenses among other missions.

The US is actively practicing deployments that would be carried out in the event of a major crisis or ωɑɾ. The US takes China very seriously and is developing its force posture and training its troops to be able to quickly move into position.

For Operation Pacific Iron, 10 F-15 Strike Eagle fighters from Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho and two C-130J Hercules transport aircraft from Yokota Air Base in Japan will join the F-22s to fill the air fleet. The Force calls operations Agile Combat Employment, also referred to as combat deployment operations, according to a statement from Air Force Pacific.

This exercise is in support of the National Defense Strategy,” which calls for the military to become a more lethal, adaptive and resilient force.

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