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Top US Stealth Jets Return To UK

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The US Air Force has sent top-of-the-line stealth fighters to Europe for a second year in a show of support to NATO allies.

Six F-22 Raptors from the 27th Fighter Squadron and 94th Fighter Squadron touched down at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk.

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The jets are usually based in the US state of Virginia.

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The USAF says the F-22’s will remain in the UK and travel to other NATO bases to provide training with US aircraft based in Europe, as well as NATO allies.

A USAF spokesman also said the deployment:

“demonstrates our steadfast commitment to NATO Allies and deter any actions that destabilize regional security”

USAF F-22 Raptor lands at RAF Lakenheath

Six more jets are expected to arrive in the UK from their deployment in the Middle East, where they have been supporting coalition air strikes against so-called Islamic State (IS).

It’s been just over a year since the last visit by F-22’s to RAF Lakenheath.

At the time, the 12 jets represented the largest Raptor deployment in Europe.

F-22 Raptors in flight

The F-22 came into service in 2005 and the twin-engine jet is flown by a single pilot and is designed to carry out air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.

It’s armed with a 20mm cannon, and its weapons bay can carry a variety of heat-seeking and radar-guided missiles and bombs.

According to the jet’s manufacturer Lockheed Martin, the F-22’s unique combination of stealth, speed and agility makes it the best air dominance fighter in the world.

F-22 Raptor in action

 

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