Are all raptors below block 30 used only for training

Anything goes, as long as it is about the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
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kra1t

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Unread post20 Oct 2022, 18:38

A few months ago there were a couple of articles floating around the web about the USAF wanting to retire 30 of its block 20 f 22s which are only used for training and testing and not combat capable, but I believe the 119th and 19th fighter squadrons based at Hickam operate block 20 raptors. I'm curious whether all the raptors below block 30 are used exclusively for training and testing or are they also used by combat coded units ?
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wrightwing

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Unread post21 Oct 2022, 04:21

kra1t wrote:A few months ago there were a couple of articles floating around the web about the USAF wanting to retire 30 of its block 20 f 22s which are only used for training and testing and not combat capable, but I believe the 119th and 19th fighter squadrons based at Hickam operate block 20 raptors. I'm curious whether all the raptors below block 30 are used exclusively for training and testing or are they also used by combat coded units ?

There are only ~ 30 Block 20 F-22s. All combat coded F-22s are later Blocks.
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retchief70

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Unread post23 Oct 2022, 03:08

The block 20 Raptors populated the 43d FS at Tyndall prior to Hurricane Michael in 2018 and were used for training only. The 95th FS had later blocks and was the combat coded unit at Tyndall. Post Michael the 43d relocated to Eglin and continued their training mission. The 95th was disbanded, and its aircraft plussed up the other F-22 equipped squadrons at Langley, Elmendorf, and Hickam. Tyndall received its first Raptor in 2003. The original plan was to keep the block 20 jets in the 43d combat capable by accomplishing the various mods and upgrades the aircraft in the combat coded squadrons received. This plan was abandoned sometime around the 2015 timeframe as best as I can recall. I assume it was mostly a monetary related decision, and probably had something to do with the F-35 coming into the inventory. Although the block 20s are not combat coded, they certainly are capable of combat. They retain radar and fire control systems. Can carry and employ missiles and their cannon. They don't normally fly with a full up stealth coating, but they could be brought up to that standard fairly quickly. True, they would not normally deploy into a combat zone, but if the bad guys were coming across the border you bet we could use them in combat. At least for air-to-air missions.

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