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F-22 Raptor fighter jet makes its combat debut in Syria




An F-22 Raptor from the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 199th Fighter Squadron returns to a training mission after refueling March 27, 2012, over the Pacific Ocean near the Hawaiian Islands. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth)
An F-22 Raptor from the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 199th Fighter Squadron returns to a training mission after refueling March 27, 2012, over the Pacific Ocean near the Hawaiian Islands. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth)
TSgt Michael R. Holzworth

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The F-22 fighter jet took decades and almost $70 billion to develop. While it's been considered combat ready since 2005, the F-22 had never been used in combat until air strikes began in Syria this week. 

The use of the F-22 came as a surprise to avid military aviation watchers and details of the stealth jet's location is kept tightly under wraps. 

Rebecca Grant, president of IRIS Independent Research and a regular contributor to Air Force Magazine, says there are many reasons why the F-22 was well-suited to this mission, "The number one reason being that it's a stealth aircraft, has a better ability to survive against sophisticated air defenses, and Syria does have a more sophisticated air defense."
 



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