F-22 Raptor makes debut combat flight

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
22 PHOTOS
F-22 Raptor
See Gallery
F-22 Raptor makes debut combat flight
A US F-22 Raptor fighter jet sits on the tarmac - part of the combat search and rescue exercise 'Cope Taufan' - in Butterworth, some 330 kilometres northwest of Kuala Lumpur on June 15, 2014. The US Air Force and the Royal Malaysian Air Force participated in exercise Cope Taufan 14 to improve combined readiness and cooperation between the two countries. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US Air Force pilots Lt. Col. Saw Sage (L), Major Sly Liggerri (C) and Major Nuke Nagatani (R) stand in front of a F-22 Raptor fighter jet in the background on the tarmac as part of the combat search and rescue exercise 'Cope Taufan' in Butterworth, some 330 kilometres northwest of Kuala Lumpur on June 15, 2014. The US Air Force and the Royal Malaysian Air Force participated in exercise Cope Taufan 14 to improve combined readiness and cooperation between the two countries. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A US Air Force F-22 Raptor performs during the Australian International Airshow in Melbourne on March 1, 2013. 180,000 patrons are expected through the gates over the duration of the event staged at the Avalon Airfield some 80kms south-west of Melbourne. AFP PHOTO / Paul CROCK (Photo credit should read PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)
A US Air Force F-22 Raptor performs during the Australian International Airshow in Melbourne on March 1, 2013. 180,000 patrons are expected through the gates over the duration of the event staged at the Avalon Airfield some 80kms south-west of Melbourne. AFP PHOTO / Paul CROCK (Photo credit should read PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)
Ground crew salute the pilot of a US Air Force F-22 Raptor as he taxies out to perform a demonstration during the Australian International Airshow in Melbourne on March 1, 2013. 180,000 patrons are expected through the gates over the duration of the event staged at the Avalon Airfield some 80kms south-west of Melbourne. AFP PHOTO / Paul CROCK (Photo credit should read PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)
A US Air Force F-22 Raptor takes to the sky during the Australian International Airshow in Melbourne on March 1, 2013. 180,000 patrons are expected through the gates over the duration of the event staged at the Avalon Airfield some 80kms south-west of Melbourne. AFP PHOTO / Paul CROCK (Photo credit should read PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)
A US Air Force F-22 Raptor is reflected in the sunglasses of Lt Col Jeff Hawkins of the 94th Fighter Squadron during the Australian International Airshow in Melbourne on March 1, 2013. 180,000 patrons are expected through the gates over the duration of the event staged at the Avalon Airfield some 80kms south-west of Melbourne. AFP PHOTO / Paul CROCK (Photo credit should read PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, VA - SEPTEMBER 28: A group of F-22 Raptors perform a flyover during the burial service for former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) at Arlington National Cemetery September 28, 2010 in Arlington, Virginia. Stevens, the longest serving Republican in the Senate, died in a plane crash in Alaska August 9, 2010. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO--SEPTEMBER 10TH 2010--Air Force F-15, left, and a F-22 fly over Falcons Stadium just before the game against the Brigham Young University Cougars at Air Force Saturday afternoon. Andy Cross, The Denver Post (Photo By Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
OSAN, SOUTH KOREA - JULY 26: U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter jets are seen at the U.S. air base during media session for joint military exercise between the U.S. and South Korea at Osan air base on July 26, 2010 in Osan, South Korea. The exercise, first joint drill after the sinking of South Korean warship in March 2010, is taking place for four days and has drawn condemnation from Pyongyang. (Photo by Kim Min-Hee-pool/Getty Images)
US F-22 stealth fighters, second and third from left, fly with other fighters over the Nimitz-class USS George Washington for joint military exercises between the US and South Korea in South Korea's East Sea on July 26, 2010. The US and South Korea staged anti-submarine drills on July 26, the second day of a major naval exercise aimed at deterring North Korea despite its threats of nuclear retaliation. The two allies, who accuse the North of sending a submarine to torpedo a South Korean warship, have assembled about 20 ships including a 97,000-ton US aircraft carrier, 200 aircraft and 8,000 personnel. Seoul and Washington say the four-day exercise is intended to stress that future attacks will meet a decisive response. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Lee Jin-man (Photo credit should read LEE JIN-MAN/AFP/Getty Images)
ANDREWS AFB, MD - MAY 16: Clockwise from bottom left, a F-15 flies with a P-51, an F-22 and an F-4 during the Joint Services Open House and Air Show May 16, 2008 at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Military families, their guests and students attended the show, which opens to the public this weekend, featuring demonstrations by the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels and others. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
A US Lockheed Martin/Boeing F22 Raptor fighter flies during an aerial display at Farnborough Airshow, Hampshire on July 14, 2008. The Air industry trade event is celebrating its 60th Anniversary. AFP PHOTO/CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
An F-22 Raptor, above, flies with a P-51 Mustang during the Miramar Air Show Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
A U.S. Air Force stealth fighter F-22 Raptor takes off from Kadena Air Base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, Japan, Tuesday Aug. 14, 2012. A group of F-22s arrived in Okinawa in late July, their first deployment overseas after the easing of flight restrictions imposed in mid-May because pilots reported dizziness and other symptoms of hypoxia. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)
Air Force 4-Star General, Gen. Mike Hostage, right, listens to 60 Minutes correspondent, Lesley Stahl, left during a media availability in front of an F-22 Raptor at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va., Monday, April 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
An Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth fighter flies above Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Wednesday Sept. 21, 2011 in Anchorage, Alaska. A total of eight F-22's flew training missions Wednesday following a four-month hiatus. Filming the fighters is Staff Sargeant Aaron Johnson. (AP Photo/Michael Dinneen)
An Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth fighter takes off from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Wednesday Sept. 21, 2011 in Anchorage, Alaska. A total of eight F-22's flew training missions Wednesday following a four-month hiatus. The fleet was put on stand-down in May over concerns about the system that delivered oxygen to pilots aboard the jets. That order came after 12 pilots reported hypoxia-like symptoms since 2008. (AP Photo/Michael Dinneen)
FILE - This June 22, 2009 photo released by the U.S. Navy shows an Air Force F-22 Raptor executing a supersonic flyby over the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis in the Gulf of Alaska. The Senate voted Tuesday to halt production of the Air Force's missile-eluding F-22 Raptor fighter jets in a high-stakes, veto-laden showdown over President Barack Obama's efforts to shift defense spending to a next generation of smaller, single-engine F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. (AP Photo/US Navy - Ronald Dejarnett, File)
In this photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, an F-22 Raptor arrives at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam on Sunday, July 20, 2008. The Air Force has been breaking in its new fleet of F-22s _ the world's most advanced fighter jet _ this summer by sending five of the planes from cool and dry Alaska to hot and humid Guam for the first time. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Airman 1st Class Nichelle Griffiths)
Crew chiefs wait next to F-22 fighters for the pilots to disembark after they landed during an arrival ceremony at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007. The first of 40 F-22 Raptors landed on Elmendorf Air Force Base, making it the first base outside of the contiguous U.S. to house them. When their arrival is complete at the end of 2008, the base will be home to more than a fifth of the Air Force's Raptors. (AP Photo/Al Grillo)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


WASHINGTON (AP) - Envisioned in the 90s as crucial to U.S. military superiority in the next century - the sleek, radar-evading F-22 Raptor has finally seen its first combat.

Never used in Afghanistan or Iraq, the Air Force's newest fighter jet made its combat debut this week, taking part in the second wave of airstrikes over Syria, according to the Pentagon.

Here are five things to know about the F-22:

1. Its first combat mission involved dropping bombs on an Islamic State group command-and-control building in Raqqah. During a Pentagon briefing Tuesday, Lt. Gen. William Mayville showed before and after slides of the airstrike targets. The after-shot for the F-22 showed a successful mission, with the command-and-control center destroyed.

2. It was developed by Lockheed Martin, with major subcontractors such as Boeing, as a 21st century fighter jet to replace various models of the aging F-15. With its stealth design, the single-seat F-22 was built to evade radar and has twin engines that allow it to fly at faster-than-sound speeds without gas-guzzling afterburners. Production of the first F-22 Raptor started in 1999 and was delivered to Air Force in 2002. The last one was delivered in 2012.

3. The F-22 comes with a hefty price tag. Each costs an average of $190 million. More than 190 F-22 fighter jets were manufactured for the U.S. military, including eight test aircraft.

4. The Raptor program was beset by design and costs overruns. When the F-22 was unveiled in 1997, critics were complaining about the costly program. At the time, the Air Force sought an order of 438 F-22 fighter jets, at a cost of about $45 billion. That order was scaled back sharply. In 2010, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Congress he was willing to cut the F-22 fighter jet program as too expensive. Production was later capped.

5. Safety concerns were the issue in 2011 when the nation's F-22s were grounded for four months after pilots complained about getting dizzy and a lack of oxygen in the cockpit. Internal documents obtained by The Associated Press show U.S. military experts had raised concerns about the flow of oxygen into the pilot's masks years earlier. The Air Force blamed a faulty valve in the pilots' vests, said there was a fix and gradually returned to the aircraft to flight.

More AOL Content:

Streisand releases No. 1 albums 6 decades in a row

Turks leave for 'family-friendly' IS group

Rescued turtle heading to new home in San Diego
Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners