Sunday, February 18, 2007

US F-22 Stealth Fighters Arrive In Japan For First Overseas Deployment

The US military's newest and most expensive stealth fighter is on its first overseas mission. The first two of a dozen F-22 fighter jets arrived today at the US Air Base on the Japanese island of Okinawa, flying in from Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. The rest are due to arrive tomorrow.The military says the $350 million-a-copy jets are being sent to Japan to underscore US flexibility in meeting "ongoing commitments and security obligations throughout the Pacific." The three-to-four-month deployment is designed to show off the fighter's strengths amid a growing security challenge posed by China and North Korea. Lieutenant General Bruce Wright, the top US commander in Japan, calls the F-22 Raptor a "very formidable asset."