WASHINGTON: The United States soon will deploy F-22 Raptors in Europe, sending the stealth fighter jets to reassure NATO partners concerned about Russia’s actions in Ukraine, a Pentagon official said.
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James did not offer specifics about where or when the single-seat jets would be deployed, citing operational security reasons. James also would not say how many of the planes would be deployed.
The deployment comes at the request of commanders in the region, she said, adding that F-22 pilots will train with NATO partners.
The F-22 was designed for air-to-air combat — attacking other warplanes — but also is capable of ground attacks.
The US Air Force has about 180 F-22s, which became operational in 2005. They have been used in US-led coalition strikes on the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.