11 up-close photos of the F-22 Raptor, which 'played an integral role' in the Syria strike

US Air Force

A US Air Forces Central Command offical said on Thursday that F-22 “played an integral role in protecting ground forces during and after the multinational strikes against Syrian chemical weapons production facilities on the morning of April 14.”

The F-22 is arguably the best stealth jet in the world, despite being introduced more than a decade ago.

Although Russia and China recently put their first stealth fighter jets into combat service, both aircraft have yet to be mass produced and Moscow and Beijing have reportedly had problems with the fifth generation engines.

One could make a case for the F-35 being superior to the F-22, but they are ultimately different kinds of aircraft. The F-35 is more of a bomber and a reconnaissance jet, whereas the F-22 is a stealthier fighter and more manoeuvrable.

Here’s what it can do:


The F-22 is an air dominance, multi-role fighter that was made operational in 2005.

US Air Force

The F-22 was contracted by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, two of the largest defence contractors and political donors in the US.

Source: Defence Department


It’s nearly 17 feet tall, over 62 feet long, and has a wingspan of nearly 45 feet.

US Air Force

Source: Defence Department


It also weighs 43,340 pounds.

US Air Force

Source: Defence Department


It’s powered by two Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines that provide a total of 70,000 pounds of thrust.

US Air Force

Source: Defence Department


The F-22 can travel at speeds greater than Mach 2 and has the ability to supercruise, which the F-35 can’t.

US Air Force

Source: Defence Department


It also has a maximum range of 1,850 miles.

US Air Force

Source: Defence Department


And a maximum altitude of more than 50,000 feet.

US Air Force

Source: Defence Department


It can also carry a variety of munitions, including radar-guided air-to-air missiles, heat seeking air-to-air missiles, joint direct attack munitions, and more.

US Air Force

The picture above shows the Raptor’s main internal weapons bays.

Source: Defence Department


Each Raptor costs $US143 million.

US Air Force

Source: Defence Department


But the Raptor program was terminated in 2009, with the last one being delivered to the Air Force in 2012. Although there have been rumblings of it being restarted to upgrade the aircraft.

US Air Force

Source: Defence Department


The US currently has a fleet of 183 Raptors.

US Air Force

Source: Defence Department

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