ANALYSIS: Why is the F-22A Raptor already facing retirement?

The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor leads the way as a fifth-generation air superiority fighter, but its days appear to be numbered – Jon Lake examines why

When the US responded to what Lieutenant General Alexus Grynkewich, Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) commander, and Combined Forces Air Component Commander for US Central Command called “Russian unprofessional behavior in the air” over Syria, it was perhaps inevitable that F-22s would be deployed. With armed Russian aircraft engaging in the ‘harassment’ of US ground forces and attacking US-supported opposition forces and more frequent instances of Russian violations of established deconfliction protocols, it was a job for the USAF’s best air dominance fighter.

Thus it was, on or around June 14, 2023, that the USAF deployed Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors from the 94th Fighter Squadron at Joint Base Langley–Eustis in Virginia to Muwaffaq Salti Air Base in Jordan.

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