© Reuters / Scanpix

The landing of F-22 US Raptor fighters in Lithuania last week sent a strong signal of deterrence, said Captain Michael Probasco, the US 95th Fighter Squadron pilot on LRT.

“The very fact that we brought the F-22 to Šiauliai shows that we can bring supremacy to the air space in Europe, to ensure that our alliance is great. By being here we send a message about a strong NATO alliance,” said Probasco.

Although the media has publicised the deployment of a dozen F-22 fighters to the UK, the visit in Romania and Lithuania was a long-planned surprise he said.

“By flying together with allies, with their airforce, we are able to balance our strengths and weaknesses. Working together is not just to fight using fourth or fifth generation fighters, it is to create partnerships, tactics, procedures which, if mastered, can create a stronger Europe,” said Probasco.

“F-22 is still the world's only fifth generation fighter plane in use. It has been so for the last 10 years. The possibilities it brings to the battle field - the first to rise, first to detect enemy – are unbelievable,” said Probasco.


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