The United States Air Force has announced it will be sending more than two dozen F-22 stealth fighters to an exercise in the western Pacific this month, an unusually large deployment of the powerful jets that military analysts say sends a strong warning to China.
The F-22s are the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft, incorporating stealth technologies and connecting on-board sensor systems with off-board information systems to give their pilots a detailed view of the battlespace.
The US Pacific Air Forces in Hawaii this week said approximately 25 F-22s Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard and from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, will deploy this month to Guam and Tinian islands for Operation Pacific Iron 2021.
“We have never had this many Raptors deployed together in the Pacific Air Forces area of operations,” Gen. Ken Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces commander said.
At a time when relations are tense over issues like Taiwan sovereignty and the South China Sea claims, deploying a large number of F-22S (the world’s most powerful jets) will panic China who have about 20 to 24 operational fifth-generation fighters, – a no match to the US’ airforce who have around 180 F-22s in its fleet.
Because of their ability to evade radar detection, F-22s would be expected to be among the first weapons used in any conflict, tasked with taking out an adversary’s air defenses among other missions.
According to a statement from Pacific Air Forces, during Operation Pacific Iron, 10 F-15 Strike Eagle fighters from Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho and two C-130J Hercules transport planes from Yokota Air Base in Japan will join the F-22s to fill out the air fleet for what the Air Force calls an Agile Combat Employment operation, also referred to as a combat dispersal operation, .