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Raptor, the prince of the sky

Posted December. 05, 2017 07:32,   

Updated December. 05, 2017 09:06


World War I was trench warfare. The invention of direct fire weapons such as machine guns made trenches all the more important. To fight against trenches, bulletproof tanks were invented. At World War II, a lightning war revolving around tanks, air raiders were adopted to destroy tanks and fighter jets came on the scene to command the air. The Korean War was the first war where fighter jets deployed for the first time at the end of World War II played a leading role.

The advent of antiaircraft missiles reduced the important of fighter jets and bombers for a certain period, but stealth technology, which makes detection by radar difficult, brought up their importance again. F-22 stealth aircrafts and B-2 stealth bombers are the most advanced fighters. F-22s are dubbed as Raptors, and B-2s are called Spirits. Raptors have a bombing feature that drops a considerable amount of bombs while flying. Raptors mean birds of prey, but also is an abbreviated name of velociraptor.

Six USFJ F-22s arrived in Gwangju Airport on Monday for ROK-US Airforce joint drills and will stay until Friday. Six F-35As and 12 F-35Bs of U.S. Forces Japan are also deployed to Korea. F-35s are an alternative of F-22s, as the U.S. forces halted production of Raptors due to the high production cost and a possible technology leakage. Korea will initially import six F-35As next year according to the contract with the United States to import 40 F-35As.

The U.S. Airforce is known to own 187 Raptors, and there are no fighters in China and Russia to stand against Raptors. This is the most important reason that the U.S. armed forces stopped producing Raptors and are focusing on F-35s that are relatively low-cost. China deployed J-20s in March to rival Raptors. They are the core of President Xi Jinping’s China Dream, which is a concept that aspires to create a powerful military. However, J-20s are assessed to be inferior to Raptors due to the weak stealth feature. Raptors are expected to stay on the throne for a while.