US Air Force F-22 Raptor Fighters Arrive in England for NATO Air Shielding
US Air Force F-22 Raptor Fighters Arrive in England for NATO Air Shielding

US Air Force F-22 Raptor Fighters Arrive in England for NATO Air Shielding

The U.S. Air Force’s stealth fighter aircraft, the F-22 Raptor has arrived at RAF Lakenheath, England, in route to the 32nd Tactical Air Base, Lask, Poland, to support NATO Air Shielding in the European Theater. The aircraft are from the 90th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, and will be supporting Air Shielding as the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. The NATO Air Shielding mission integrates Allied Air and Surface Based Air and Missile Defence units into the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence system under NATO Command and Control.

It will provide a near seamless shield from the Baltic to Black Seas, ensuring NATO Allies are better able to safeguard and protect Alliance territory, populations and forces from air and missile threat. The fifth generation capability contributes to the Air Shielding mission with its ability to provide lethality and survivability against any emerging high end threats. The F-22 Raptor performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions allowing full realization of operational concepts vital to the 21st century Air Force. Integration with NATO Allies and Partners further demonstrates the Alliance’s dedication to deter and defend in an increasingly complex and changing security environment.

F-22 Raptors with the 90th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, fly over the air field at Royal Air Force Lakenehath, England, July 26, 2022. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cedrique Oldaker)

The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is an American single-seat, twin-engine, all-weather stealth tactical fighter aircraft developed for the United States Air Force (USAF). As the result of the USAF’s Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program, the aircraft was designed as an air superiority fighter, but also has ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence capabilities. The prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, built most of the F-22 Raptor’s airframe and weapons systems and conducted final assembly, while Boeing provided the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems.

The F-22 Raptor is a critical component of the global strike Task Force, and designed to project air dominance, rapidly and at great distances to defeat threats attempting to deny access to the U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corps. It cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft, making it a highly strategic platform to support NATO Air Shielding. The U.S. remains dedicated to security commitments with NATO Alliance and global Partners and this enhanced posture is a clear expression of NATO’s commitment to readiness which promotes regional security and stability.

An F-22 Raptor assigned to the 90th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska lands at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, July 26, 2022. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Seleena Muhammad-Ali)