U.S. may deploy F-22 Raptor stealth jets to Europe to counter “Russian threat”

F-22 Raptors may be deployed to Europe as part of a Theater Security Package.

It looks like the military build-up in eastern Europe may soon feature some multi-role stealth planes.

In fact, according to Air Force Secretary Deborah James, the U.S. may deploy a squadron of F-22 Raptors to Europe to counter the Russian threat. Talking to reporters at Le Bourget airshow in Paris, she said that Russia is “the biggest threat on my mind,” a threat that has materialized itself with a proxy war in Ukraine and an increased activity of Russian Air Force planes around the Baltic region.

So far, the U.S. has responded to these threats with two TSPs (Theater Security Packages), made up of F-15s and A-10s, that will remain in Europe for a period of 6 months, and with a series of drills with NATO allies and partners, attended also by B-52 strategic bombers.

Among the units taking part to the rotational deployments to Europe there are also F-22 squadrons, even though for the moment, this is just one of the possibilities on the table.

Although they have never been deployed to Europe as part of a TSP, Raptors have often taken part in rotational deployments in the Asia-Pacific region since 2009, to show the presence of Washington’s most advanced fighter plane in service in an area where tensions have risen over maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

Whilst TSPs include 12 aircraft, 200-300 support personnel and require an advanced planning, a smaller package of 4 F-22s can be deployed across the world much faster: in 2013 the U.S. Air Force conceived a new rapid deployment concept (dubbed “Rapid Raptor Package“) that allows to deploy a package of F-22s (accompanied by a C-17) and supporting logistics to any forward operating base and have the stealth fighter jet ready for combat operations within 24 hours of deploying with a small logistics footprint.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Oh stop it you’re embarrassing yourself. The SR71 was successfully intercepted on numerous occasions outside of Soviet airspace. The SR71 didn’t fly over the Soviet Union. It would skirt the Soviet airspace and take pictures from an angle. It did not dare enter Soviet airspace. The Americans learnt their lesson after Powers was shot down flying his U2. They didn’t dare do it again.

    Also Syria doesn’t have any S300s. They have the short range Pantsir-S1 system which is designed to shoot down helicopters and low flying planes. Aircraft are immune if they are flying over 30000 feet.

  2. Let’s see-russia takes Crimea from the Ukraine (and Russia guaranteed Ukraine’s borders when Ukraine gave up their nukes-“The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.” and you don’t see russian agression? Are you blind?
    oops guess they lied.

  3. The Air Force will chew up those S400s just very other POS Russian air defense system since Vietnam.
    The Russian’s are all show and no go.

  4. Sorry if you are offended, I was actually talking with one f22 pilot, but guess you know more than them, right?

Comments are closed.