The U.S. Air Force (USAF) deployed F-22A Raptor stealth fighter jets to Kadena Air Base, Japan under U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s (USINDOPACOM) theater security package (TSP) program.
The advanced combat aircraft, assigned to the 525th Fighter Squadron, Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson (JBER), Alaska, arrived in Japan on May 29, 2018, along with the aircrew and support personnel.
Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) TSP deployments to the Indo-Pacific region signify a continued commitment to regional stability and security and have served as a routine and integral part of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s force posture since March 2004.
F-22s are a familiar sight over the skies of Okinawa; the jets have based at Kadena AB routinely over the past 10 years, with the last deployment occurring there in 2014. Earlier this year, F-35As re-deployed to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, from Kadena AB after a six month rotation in-theater. Combined, these deployments re-enforce PACAF’s commitment to the employment of fifth-generation fighter technology within the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility.
The United States routinely evaluates readiness and repositions forces as needed to ensure the capabilities necessary to meet obligations in the Indo-Pacific region. These deployments demonstrate the continued U.S. commitment to fulfil security responsibilities throughout the Western Pacific and to maintain peace and stability throughout the region.
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.