War Is Boring
Here's what we know about the "Rapid Raptor" program.
How America's F-22 Raptor Can Be Anywhere in 24 Hours
The sun never sets on American airpower, which can project some form of force anywhere in the world in short order.
Be it by strategic basing of Air Force assets, Marine Expeditionary Units or a Carrier Strike Group, America has ways of bringing fury from above- and isn’t afraid to flaunt that capability.
However, one American aircraft strikes a special fear in the heart of the enemy- and for good reason, as it can be anywhere in the world, undetected, in under 24 hours.
That aircraft is the F-22 Raptor- and thanks to the US Air Force’s “Rapid Raptor” program, trouble now comes in a flight of four.
The program, which has been around for a few years, allows four F-22s with a crew, support, fuel, weapons, and maintenance to project anywhere in the world within a day’s notice.
“The ACC Rapid Raptor program’s aim is to take the concept, as developed in PACAF (Pacific Air Command), and change it from a theater specific to a worldwide capability.” an Air Combat Command spokeswoman said last year.
With the ability to take any aircraft in existence today, and the added benefit of being able to conduct ground strikes in some capacity, the Raptor is a formidable threat that can be anywhere its country needs it to be.
According to National Interest, the Rapid Raptor program has also factored in the possibility of having to operate in remote and “austere” areas, providing the necessary logistics that come with such a task.
While the F-22 is the tip of the aerial spear, it is still only as good as the team backing it up, as such, the entire air platform was designed to be a superb team player, providing cover and pathfinding abilities (thanks to stealth and long-range sensors) to track and pass off targets to 4th generation fighters in the pack.
The program seems to be a form of counter to Russia’s recent rise in aggressive posturing, though the USAF was quick to deny that the Rapid Raptor venture was a result of Russian actions.
This article by Andy Wolf originally appeared at War is Boring in 2019.