US PACAF to deploy F-22 Raptor aircraft to Australia for training activities
The US Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) will deploy F-22 Raptor aircraft to Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Tindal as part of the Enhanced Air Cooperation Initiative.
The deployment of 12 F-22 Raptors, along with 190 airmen, forms a part of the posture agreement signed between the US and Australia.
Upon arrival this month, the aircraft will conduct combined exercises and training missions with the RAAF.
PACAF commander General Terrence O’Shaughnessy said: “This F-22 Raptor deployment represents a key milestone for the US and Australian airmen as together we build a robust fifth generation fighter presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.”
With this deployment, both the countries seek to modernise and strengthen their existing mil-to-mil relationship, facilitate interoperability, exercise combined capabilities and increase regional engagement.
The planned rotation of F-22 Raptors to RAAF Base Tindal marks the initial fifth-generation asset deployment of this duration and scope within Australia, and will be the first time the F-22 has conducted combined training to this extent in the country, the US Air Force stated.
The F-22 Raptors will conduct training missions alongside RAAF's 75 Squadron F/A-18A/B Hornets as well as other ground assets and personnel.
The deployment is expected to enhance RAAF and USAF fourth to fifth-generation integration while introducing fifth-generation operations and requirements to RAAF Base Tindal.
Built by Lockheed Martin, the F-22 Raptor is a fighter aircraft that is designed to project air dominance and defeat threats.
The aircraft's sensor suite allows the pilot to track, identify, shoot and kill air-to-air threats before being detected.
Image: A US Air Force F-22 Raptor takes off from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo by Alejandro Pena / Released.