US Air Force to send dozens of F-22 fighter jets to the Paci

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Unread post20 Jul 2021, 19:20 ... index.html

The United States Air Force is 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 analysts say sends a strong message to a possible adversary in China.

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, told CNN.
The F-22s are fifth-generation combat jets, 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 battle space. US F-35s are another example.
Deploying a large number of F-22s for the exercise sends an immediate message to China at a time when relations are tense over Pacific flashpoints like Taiwan and the South China Sea, said Carl Schuster, a Hawaii-based defense analyst and a former director of operations at the US Pacific Command's Joint Intelligence Center. Normal F-22 deployments consist of six to 12 aircraft, he said.
"The Pacific Air Force is demonstrating that it can deploy as many or more fifth-generation aircraft into the theater on short notice than (China) currently has in its entire inventory," he said.
The Chinese air force has about 20 to 24 operational fifth-generation fighters, Schuster said, but he noted Beijing's capabilities are improving at a rapid pace.
[/b]The US Air Force has around 180 F-22s in its fleet, although only about half are mission capable at any one time due to maintenance requirements, according to Air Force statistics. So the US will be sending about 25% of mission F-22s to the Pacific Iron exercise.
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.
"The US is actively practicing the deployments it will make if there is a major crisis or war. The US is taking China very seriously and is developing its force posture and training its forces to be able to quickly move into position," said Peter Layton, a former Australian air force officer now an analyst with the Griffith Asia Institute.


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Unread post26 Jul 2021, 17:34

Someone mentioned this in the other thread and I got to thinking about it...

Envision a combined force of 75 F-35's and 25 F-22's. Call it 50 F-35B's and 25 A's. That'll give us 50 conventional take off/landing stealth fighters, a 50/50 mix of F-22's and 35's. Then in addition to that you'd have 50 F-35B's that could be.... anywhere. Operating off CVN's, helicopter assault carriers, any permanent bases we have or... at dispersed airfields. They could even operate from captured Chinese airfields/islands whose runways have been damaged.

Given a SCS incident, I'd imagine we'd have the following fighter/strike aircraft..

100 stealth fighters, mix of F-22 and 35
150 F-15 variants, call it a mix of 75 F-15C's/E's each. In coming years F-15EX's/E's
300 F-16's
300 or so Super Hornets flying off of our carriers

It really goes to show you though how critical procuring more F-35's is. Imagine those 300 F-16's being F-35's, and the capability they'd bring to the fight. Ditto for even 100 more F-35C's flying from Navy carriers. We are building them at a pretty good rate, but not fast enough IMO...

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