U.S. Air Force deploys F-22 stealth jets to Japan as a deterrence to North Korea and as a show of force to China

Nov 25 2014 - 13 Comments

American F-22 stealth aircraft have been deployed to Japan for a deterrence and security exercise in the region.

U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth multi-role aircraft from 525th Fighter Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, deployed to Kadena Air Base, in Japan, to take part in exercise Keen Sword, underway from Nov. 8 through Nov. 19.

The deployment has a dual purpose: let U.S. aircrews fly and train with local Japan Air Self Defense Forces, and show the presence of Washington’s most advanced fighter plane in service in a region where tensions have risen over maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

Held biennially since 1986, Exercise Keen Sword includes anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, air-to-air and air defense warfare scenarios. This year, the drills involve about 11,000 personnel from U.S. Forces Japan, 5th Air Force, U.S. Naval Forces Japan, U.S. Army Japan, and III Marine Expeditionary Force. Among the Air Force units taking part in the exercise there are also 33rd Rescue Squadron from Kadena and 212th Rescue Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, that are training with their Japanese colleagues at Komatsu Air Base.

According to the Air Force, F-22s, that have had their combat first against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, have recently been active in training exercises in the region, “serving as a deterrence to North Korea and as a show of force to China.”

Earlier this year Raptors operated out of Osan Air Base, South Korea as part of large-scale exercise Foal Eagle.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force


  • Pity we wont just sell the F-22 to the Japanese Air Self Defense Forces. They are more than willing to pay for them and it would help a great deal to pay for the development costs and keep the factories open. It does cost an awful lot of money to deploy our own planes out there.

    • Roland Lawrence

      Some silent Eagle upgrades would be money better spent I think.

      • Another Guest (from Australia)

        Roland Lawrence,

        Have you seen the “The Comanche and the Albatross” information? A very good read from Col Michael W. Pietrucha, USAF.


        Col. Pietrucha claims that the USAF should purchase a limited number of new aircraft, with 60 F-15Gs and 72 two-seat F-16F Block 70 as the baseline. Such purchases are only partially additive. The Block 70 squadrons will be an in-place upgrade of Block 40 squadrons while the F-15G Strike Weasels are added to the force to replace the long-lost F-4G/EF-111A and the critical expertise that came with them. When economically feasible, existing fourth-generation airframes with significant service life remaining should be upgraded to a common standard.

        The F-15G variant is a modified F-15E+. Its EW systems are migrated from the EA-18G Growler, just as the migration of EA-6B systems to the F-111 Aardvark created the EF-111A Raven.

        Another proposal Col. Pietrucha should include is the Super F-15 TVC ‘Golden’ Eagle from C model airframes rebuilt and upgraded them with.

        1. Supercruising F100-PW-232 or F110-GE-132 engines with 3D circular thrust vectoring nozzles to enhance the manoeuvrability.

        2. Infrared Search and Track (IRST) sensor and Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS).

        3. APG-63v3 AESA and the Eagle passive/active warning and survivability system (EPAWSS) upgrade to EW systems.

        4. Redesigned “S” shaped air intakes with blockers inside to reduce radar detection from head on.

        5. Twin tail fins canted outward 15 degrees like the F-15SE variant.

        The new designation for the F-15 to be called “F-15R Advanced Eagle”.

        The best viable option would be to create a modernised TACAIR fleet consisting of a high-low mix of modernised legacy fighters, retain the existing A-10 fleet with improved upgrades or develop a entirely new CAS aircraft (that has the same A-10’s characteristics) and multi-purpose jet trainer / attack aircraft.

  • Pork eating crusader

    F*ck yeah!

  • xyz445wvv

    USA – the stupid nation

    • CenterIndependent

      yet, you’re using American technology to type this on the internet which is also a American innovation….

  • big john ok

    Honestly the North Korean leadership is crazy and whacky enough that I really dont think anything short of a full blown invasion wouldn’t scare them. China is a whole different beast all together, the have the ability to knock down out satellites and the weapon system to deny the Navy use of the Western Pacific in a hot war.

    • Roland Lawrence

      or simply just buy the USA. They are the biggest holder of debt. $4 trillion last count..

  • bigern1284

    I doubt this was a show of force North Korea, rather to China or Russia.

  • ODM

    I cant find any reference to it being detected during a training sortie in any of those articles, but they do mention it spotting an F-22 flying into South Korea. For all we know it could have had drop tanks from its ferry flight and radar reflectors installed so it could be kept better track of as it crossed the ocean. Plus, you are taking the word of the Chinese military at face value. But who can really say for sure….

    • Roland Lawrence

      I think its safe to assume the cats out of the bag on that one, the F22 desperately needs some deployment action to validate the massive costs though.

    • Another Guest (from Australia)


      The other report I’ve also found stated the F-22 flew in South Korea on recent exercises, so for all what we could believe the F-22 was deployed either Osan AB or Kunsan AB with external fuel tanks from its ferry flight or flown on a training sortie probably simulating air combat manoeuvring or ground attack.

  • Roland Lawrence

    i thought religion was the original slavery?