94th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron Lockheed Martin F-22 "Raptor's" Demonstrate Combat Agility
Maintainers from the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing catch Lockheed Martin F-22 "Raptor's" at a forward deployed location in Southwest Asia, Sept. 12, 2018. The maintainers left Al Dhafra Air Base on the McDonnell Douglas KC-10 "Extender" that refueled the Lockheed Martin F-22 "Raptor's" throughout the day. This highlighted the 380th’s ability to execute combat operations from various locations within the Area of Responsibility. U.S. Air Forces Central Command Airmen operate any time, any place and under any conditions in order to maintain air superiority and protect ground forces.
The 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 with 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. USAF officials consider the F-22 a critical component of the service's tactical air power. Its combination of stealth, aerodynamic performance, and situational awareness enable unprecedented air combat capabilities and originally planned to buy a total of 750 aircrafts, but in 2009, the program was cut to 187 operational production aircraft due to high costs, 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. The last F-22 was delivered in 2012.