As the United States continues another complicated military and political battle in the Middle East, the problem-plagued F-22 Raptor is seeing its first tour of combat. The radar-evading F-22 Raptor didn't conduct attack missions in Iraq or Afghanistan, but is now being used to conduct airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in Syria.
The Lockheed Martin-developed aircraft is a single-seat fighter jet able to evade radar - but at a $190 million cost per aircraft, it's rather expensive - with almost 200 fighter jets manufactured. After years of budget problems and delays, including an oxygen-related issue in which pilots reported in-flight oxygen deprivation, the U.S. Air Force looks ahead to using the aircraft for future strikes.
"The flight of the F-22s delivered GPS-guided munitions, precision munitions targeting only the right side of the building," said Lt. Gen William Mayville, during a recent presentation how the aircraft is being used to fight ISIS terrorists in Syria. "And you can see that the control - the command and control center where it was located in the building was destroyed."