The U.S. Air Force (USAF) has deployed F-22 Raptors, Airmen and associated equipment to RAF Lakenheath, U.K., for a flying training deployment (FTD) to conduct air training with other U.S. Europe-based aircraft and NATO Allies.
The aircraft arrived in Europe on Oct. 8, and are comprised of Airmen, aircraft and equipment from the 27th Fighter Squadron and 94th Fighter Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
While in the European theater, the F-22s will also forward deploy from the U.K. to other NATO bases to maximize training opportunities, demonstrate our steadfast commitment to NATO Allies and deter any actions that destabilize regional security. This FTD is fully funded by the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI).
Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is a fifth-generation, single-seat, twin-engine, all-weather stealth tactical fighter aircraft developed for the United States Air Force (USAF).
The result of the USAF’s Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program, the aircraft was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but also has ground attack, electronic warfare, and signal intelligence capabilities.
The prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, built most of the F-22’s airframe and weapons systems and conducted final assembly, while Boeing provided the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems.
The Raptor’s combination of stealth, aerodynamic performance, and situational awareness gives the aircraft unprecedented air combat capabilities.
The high cost of the aircraft, a lack of clear air-to-air missions due to delays in Russian and Chinese fighter programs, a ban on exports, and development of the more versatile F-35 led to the end of F-22 production.
A final procurement tally of 187 operational production aircraft was established in 2009, and the last F-22 was delivered to the USAF in 2012.