And that means bad news for America's enemies.
The Stealth Sniper: The F-22 Raptor Has a New Job
The flying branch only bought 187 operational Raptors — out of an original goal of 381. The F-22 also won’t fly into the 2060s without upgrades.
Three years ago, four F-22 Raptors taking part in the second-wave of the U.S.-led coalition’s opening airstrikes on Islamic State in Syria dropped their bombs. It was the first time the stealthy fifth-generation fighters had ever engaged in combat. The coalition’s war planners also used the F-22s to leverage their low-observable profiles — and far-reaching sensors — while escorting non-stealthy fighters in case Syrian fighters or air-defense systems engaged.
Fortunately, the Syrian military held its fire.
Fast forward to today, and F-22 Raptors are still flying over Iraq and Syria and have shifted almost fully into that latter role, according to Air Force Magazine. “When we first got here, we were 95 percent precision strike. And now we’re probably 95 percent air superiority,” Lt. Col. “Shell” — a callsign — of the 27th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron told the magazine.
This first appeared in October 2017.