The U.S. Air Force has confirmed that F-22 Raptor stealth fighters were deployed to Qatar.
U.S. Air Force announced that the fifth-generation jet fighters have arrived in Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar for the first time to “defend American forces and interests in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.”
The Military.com reported that Raptors have in the past been stationed at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates. The fifth-generation fighter had been part of the air campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria since the fight began in 2014; they returned home last fall, and were replaced by F-15C Eagles earlier this year.
The F-22, a critical component of the Global Strike Task Force, is designed to project air dominance, rapidly and at great distances and defeat threats attempting to deny access to our nation’s Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft.
The Raptor performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions allowing full realization of operational concepts vital to the 21st century Air Force.
The Drive noted that Raptors arrived in Qatar just over a week after the Iranians shot down a U.S. Navy RQ-4A Broad Area Maritime Surveillance-Demonstrator drone, or BAMS-D, flying over the Gulf of Oman.
The downing of a U.S. surveillance drone by Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had brought the two foes to the brink of war. Tehran said the drone violated its airspace but Washington insisted it was flying over international waters in the Gulf.
F-22s #deployed to #Qatar for the first time in order to defend American forces and interests in the @CENTCOM area of responsibility. https://t.co/7aGBztTGKe#AirForce #USAF #Aviation #F22 #Raptor@DeptofDefense @usairforce @grandslamwing pic.twitter.com/CMPcaPggjU
— US AFCENT (@USAFCENT) June 28, 2019