Editor’s Note: The F-22A Raptor is the world’s most feared combat aircraft, and the world’s only operational 5th-Generation fighter. Tyson Wetzel has previously discussed how this magnificent fighter has matured in the ten years since reaching IOC. And while it has seen its share of problems, and has more than its fair share of critics, the truth is this: the Raptor is in high demand because of its eye-watering capabilities, and the aircraft is constantly on the road to train or operate in support of U.S. interests.
As the Air Force’s most advanced aircraft, the F-22 is in such high demand that Raptor pilots and crews are constantly deploying for training and wartime missions.
It’s no doubt that the Raptor has been put on a pedestal in the Air Force’s trophy case. Even though the service only has  in inventory, according to Air Combat Command, it’s likely the world will see more of it in months to come.
“The overarching picture of how we’re modernizing the F-22 is that we’re looking for capabilities out there that other assets in the entire [Defense Department] inventory cannot fill,” Maj. Justin Anhalt, an F-22 requirements officer and program element monitor, told Air Force Times on March 8.
“We’re very focused on advancing air-to-air threats — emerging air-to-air threats — that will challenge both the U.S. ability to gain and maintain air superiority, and our coalition partners and how we can help them out,” Anhalt said. Anhalt serves under ACC‘s plans and Programs Fighter Requirements Office at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
And as threats, such as Russia and China, advance and develop their aircraft capabilities, keeping the F-22 Raptor fresh — along with the F-35 — is a top priority. Anhalt said now is the time to look at “how do we better look at integrating with the F-35 so we can better accomplish the mission.”
We encourage you to read the original article, which can be viewed in its entirety at the Air Force Times right here.
(Featured photo by Jonathan Derden)