The US Air Force has announced that it will send more than two dozen F-22 fighter jets to an exercise in the Western Pacific, reports CNN.
Why it matters: Analysts say sending so many jets sends a clear message to China as tensions between Beijing and Washington escalate, CNN notes.
- “The Pacific Air Force is demonstrating that it can, in the short term, deploy as many or more fifth generation aircraft into the theater of war than (China) currently has in its entire inventory,” Carl Schuster, a defense analyst, told CNN, adding that China has 20 to 24 operational fighter jets.
- By comparison, the US has around 180 F-22 jets, according to CNN.
Details: Approximately 25 jets from will be dispatched to Guam and the Tinian Islands this month to participate in Operation Pacific Iron 2021.
- The exercise is carried out on smaller airfields, so that “[l]The lessons learned in the exercise could be applied to the operation of smaller airports on islands around the western Pacific, “writes CNN.
What you say: “We have never used so many raptors together in the Pacific Air Force area,” Ken Wilsbach, commander of the Pacific Air Force, told CNN.
Context: The F-22 is considered the first 5th generation fighter aircraft in the Air Force inventory and one of the most advanced combat aircraft according to Military.com.