U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter jets arrived at RAF Lakenheath in the UK this week en route to support NATO’s Air Shielding mission in Poland.

The U.S. Air Force say that the F-22 Raptor performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, and “its fifth generation capability contributes to the Air Shielding mission enhancing interoperability and cohesion among Allied nations”.

“Integration with NATO Allies and Partners further demonstrates the Alliance’s dedication to deter and defend in an increasingly complex and changing security environment.”

According to a news release from the NATO Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office:

“The US deployment of their fifth generation fighter aircraft boosts NATO’s posture for assurance, deterrence and defence in Europe. Together with other Allies’ contributions this deployment is a clear expression of NATO’s commitment to readiness which promotes regional security and stability.

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there has been an increased use of missiles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and combat aircraft close to the borders of NATO nations. This increases the air and missile threat to NATO territory and populations, primarily due to potential miscalculation or loss of guidance or control.

The NATO Air Shielding mission integrates Allied Air and Surface Based Air and Missile Defence units into the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence system under NATO Command and Control. It will provide a near seamless shield from the Baltic to Black Seas, ensuring NATO Allies are better able to safeguard and protect Alliance territory, populations and forces from air and missile threat.”

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Steve
Steve
12 days ago

Its kinda amusing that the f22 was designed and built with one job at hand, taking on the Russia /soviet airforce. But as the events of the last few months have demonstrated, the f16/15 could have easily done that job and the US would have saved a bucket load of cash.

Ian
Ian
12 days ago
Reply to  Steve

I think the Russians may nowadays be hamstrung by no longer having the Soviet era industrial capacity to absorb losses of fast jets- which would make them unwilling to put those fairly precious assets in harm’s way.

Steve
Steve
12 days ago
Reply to  Ian

I have read that arguement a lot, I don’t buy it. In the openning weeks of the war it would make sense, but now that the war is going so badly wrong, and Russia badly needs to get some wins out of it, why would they hold back a capability that could have a significant difference. If they could elimate the Ukraine airforce and then undertake strike missions on Ukraine artillery / supplies, surely they would. I just think the have realised the kit isn’t good enough to be used in the war, and so rather than have it all… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
12 days ago
Reply to  Steve

I think it’s a mix of the kit isn’t good enough and neither are their pilots.

Pilots haven’t received enough training to be effective – probably just enough that they can fly without crashing – and planes receiving the barest minimum in maintenance.

They have several hundred SU-27/30/35/35/37 but how many are actually combat-capable?

Also, Russia failed to conduct any kind of SEAD, so their planes are very vulnerable to SAMs at high altitude, and vulnerable to MANPADS at low altitude.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

Yes the last humiliation would be to see their latest and hyped weaponry being taken out almost as easily as the rubbish stuff. And fact is whatever the hype they can barely field very many of those platforms anyway. The Armata struggled in Libya and is being worked on with few in the meantime available and from what I have read things are little better with their best jets. Unable to get the western tech they need in this hardware it will be difficult to produce what they need and let’s be honest the only ‘credibility’ left at home or… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

The kits not all rubbish as Ukrainians at the start we’re mostly fighting with improved Soviet kit, total lack of NCO core, top down linear control and all the cash nicked along with half the kit sold off

geoff.Roach
geoff.Roach
12 days ago
Reply to  Ian

The ironic thing about this is that under the old Soviet Union a lot of their good engineering plant was in the Ukraine.

geoff
geoff
12 days ago
Reply to  geoff.Roach

.. not to mention Ukraine’s part in providing two of The USSR’s most prominent and iconic Presidents in Brezhnev and Khrushchev. I still cannot understand how the Russians could brutalise their own kith and kin in such a savage manner.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
12 days ago
Reply to  geoff

I’ve always loved history and at times it’s been sad and wasteful to say the least but have we not learned anything. It would appear not. If you look round the world with it’s tin pot dictators, slavey, terrorism and abuse. I sometimes feel that I would like to rescue all the kids and bring them up safe. Daft, I know.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
11 days ago
Reply to  geoff.Roach

Exactly

Tommo
Tommo
11 days ago
Reply to  geoff.Roach

In what is now wasteland thanks tòo Orc artillery even though Putin said his troops in the Donbas were there too protect the Civilian population and inferstructer from Ukrainian genocide very odd way of winning hearts and minds Geoff

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
11 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

I’m not sure the man has a heart Tommo and I really do think he’s out of his mind. The trouble, for those of us who are fairly normal, is that the likes of Stalin, Hitler, Mao and goodness knows how many others just don’t care what they do or how many get killed. They want their toy to play with and that’s that.

Tommo
Tommo
11 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Thanks Geoff for that ,it would seem that with on going setbacks in the Ukraine Putin has thrown all of his Toys out of the Pram hope someone with an ounce of sense throws him out of his Pram fingers 🤞 crossed

geoff
geoff
12 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Good Day Steve. Take your point about the F16/15 but still, it is essential that the West stays ahead of the curve in terms of superior weaponry as this gives reserves in terms of capability always leaving the other side to catch up. Also though it does reflect how effective are relatively simple AA systems and how far they have advanced since the likes of Blowpipe. The Falklands war certainly showed up the deficiencies in several Naval and land based weapons allowing improvements in these weapons.

Steve
Steve
12 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Its going to be interesting, once the dust settles, what lessons were learnt from the conflict and how the west changes its equipment to take them into account.

I can’t imagine once Putin goes, there will be a number of Russian generals doing the speaking tours giving info on what went wrong also

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
10 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Good Morning, Steve. Have a feeling dust isn’t going to settle any time soon if Ukraine cannot get back Kherson north of Dnipro. ‘Easily’ occupied at start, of course, with a view to making entire Black Sea coast, due to combination of subterfuge and Ukrainian unpreparedness at all levels. But, as that area now stands, a classic example of limited access from the south with a river at your back. Though my opinion is really neither here nor there, if Ukraine and effectively NATO cannot recover Kerson for whatever reason then I’d regard that as a Western defeat, and fear… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve

What do they say about hindsight

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
10 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Hope you are indeed correct, because US may be forced to recall F-22s on very short notice for redeployment to Indo-Pacific theater, if certain events occur. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker, US House of Representatives is rumored to wish to visit Taiwan on a near term foreign trip (the wisdom of a visit is truly debatable). This action will, quite probably, arouse the competitive spirit of the ChiComs, as plainly advertised. Presume festivities would begin in the conventional realm, before transitioning to nuclear flash-bangs. Actually, may be more advantageous to joust now, when their inventory is several hundred warheads vs. later… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
10 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

… followed…

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
10 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Aside, see the first mutterings from America, no more than that for now, of becoming
involved in our Tempest 6th generation effort. Had been wondering, considering F35, and maybe a bit like the submarines as well? World events are promoting many new attitudes and linkups, like AUKUS for instance.
With Russia and China to contend with, it’s unlikely even the USA thinks it can supply everyone. Now, about Europe and our little tiffs……

andy reevesandy262@gmail.com
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve

A look at the inventory at th aircraft regeneration facility in Arizona shows300 plus f 16’s and almost as many f 15’s already built available for reactivation. We sold( 72 active harriers for peanuts how many aircraft would the U.k get for the same money?

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
12 days ago

The F22 is a stunning machine with some unbeatable capabilities. But for a good few quid less, the Typhoon isn’t far behind in pure air to air capability. Both jets excel at high attitude supersonic performance and BVR capability. But the F35 is a generation ahead in avionics and situational awareness capability. It doesn’t have the brute performance and agility of the F22 or Typhoon (wasn’t designed to be) But with a focus on strike and stealth, with exceptional A2A, it’s a perfect combination when operating with F22 or Typhoon or F15EX. I’d highly recommend a trip to Lakenheath while… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
12 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Agreed. I have never seen one live.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
12 days ago

They really do look the part mate, and make one hell of a racket with a full reheat takeoff. 👍

Chris
Chris
12 days ago

I saw a couple on the Mach Loop a few years ago, coming at you head on they’re a sight to behold.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
12 days ago
Reply to  Chris

I plan to go there one day, not done it yet.

farouk
farouk
11 days ago

At one airshow I saw a B1 bomber (female pilot) carry out spectacular aerobatic manoeuvres for the crowd. Now if a B1 could do that, I suspect a F22 doing similar would be breath taking.  Saying that I have also seen the B2 fly over (escorted either side by a F15) brought the town to a standstill as they flew over. Also seen the F117 on a 2 fence display (RAF police on the outer fence) Armed US on the inside. I was suprised how small it was

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Hi mate.

Saw the B2 solo fly bye at a Mildenhall Air Fete, don’t remember if I saw the F117, think I did at Farnborough static under guard as you say.

The Air Fetes were my fav, not done Fairford yet. The sight of a FAA Sqn of Sea Harriers lined up at the hover then bowing to the crowd! Will never forget it. 😍

farouk
farouk
11 days ago

Have to admit, Ive been pretty lucky with airshows, went to Farnbrough when I based at Gib Barracks (basic training) and got in on my ID card, Fairford when it was closed relocated to RAF Cottesmore for one year in 2001, (I got free tickets to that as they used our camp for accommodation and we received loads of free tickets) I dated a girl whose dad worked at Waddington and so i got to visit the airshow there twice for free and then for 3 years on the trot I was tasked with running the army side of things… Read more »

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
10 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Aye incredible to think F15 first flew in July 1972! Yet in here the lame tired old shite about RAF kit ( Typhoon) being too old from the usual clueless carpet baggers 😂 does provide some amusement.

The U.K. & US really do operate some amazing kit

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇬🇧

PAB
PAB
12 days ago

6 F-22’s were heading south over Lincolnshire yesterday evening impressive sight

budgie bubu
budgie bubu
10 days ago
Reply to  PAB

absolutley
there the greatest fighter jet there is
its not an opinion
its cold hard facts
f-15s will do much damage too if deployed1😊😊

Jacko
Jacko
12 days ago

That’s the roads around lakenheath stuffed for a few days then🤗🥴

Jacko
Jacko
11 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

You obviously have not been around that base when a new type makes an appearance 😂

John Stott
John Stott
11 days ago

Do not let them go near Serbia 😂

Leslie Leveson
Leslie Leveson
11 days ago

One wonders what the sixth generation aircraft will be lke with its capabilties.Yes it is a aircraft of advanced technology, with stealth , but yet has to prove itself in combat against adversaries
Rasputin is unpredictable with his mood swings,and only time when the Russian bear will extend it claws.
Thankfully it is good to know that Western nations have aircraft technology should the inevitable happen.
For the Americans to deploy this aircraft to the Uk perhaps the know something , and hence this move

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
10 days ago
Reply to  Leslie Leveson

F22 has deployed to the UK before. They are heading to Poland. It doesn’t mean war is imminent.

Mr Trevor D C Gamble
Mr Trevor D C Gamble
10 days ago

Why show pictures of F35s then?

Paul T
Paul T
10 days ago

Where ?.

paul stott
paul stott
10 days ago

Gotta love the srm chair generals

What i find mad is f22 tech was back in90’s thsts nut

andy reevesandy262@gmail.com
8 days ago

And Americas biggest airaft Cartier floats again the u.s.s great Britain ready for use