Heating up, the US Deploys F-22 Stealth Fighter Jets for Combat Exercises on the Russian Border

Heating up, the US Deploys F-22 Stealth Fighter Jets for Combat Exercises on the Russian Border
Heating up, the US Deploys F-22 Stealth Fighter Jets for Combat Exercises on the Russian Border

International Military - United States (US) F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets have started combat training in Estonia, a NATO country adjacent to Russia. The maneuvers come as the Black Sea feud between Moscow and Kiev, backed by its Western allies, heats up.

According to the ERR report, a total of 12 fighter jets were transferred from the United States to a Polish airbase since early April for military exercises. Three warplanes arrived at Estonia's Amari airbase near Tallinn this week. The exercise includes the practice of rapid response to threats—in cooperation with other nations' forces.

US Ambassador in Estonia George Kent told broadcaster ERR that American fighter jets were flying together with pilots from other countries. "This morning, the pilots flew to Lithuania, and we are working with Portuguese and Romanian pilots, and they hope, maybe tomorrow, to be in the air with British Typhoons [fighters] who are also operating in Amari," he said, as reported by the EurAsian Times.

"This is not the first time F-22s have visited Amari. I think the first time was in 2015, and I anticipate they will also return. And it is a matter for both of our militaries to discuss timing and objectives," Kent said.

According to the US Embassy in Estonia, the US has invested more than 33 million Euros (USD 36 million) in infrastructure at Amari air base since 2015. The latest facility built at the air base is a fuel storage facility capable of storing around 2,000 cubic meters of fuel. In addition, the US has built a hostel housing about 220 service personnel and an aircraft maintenance hangar.

These projects, the embassy said, have helped increase the Amari air base's capacity for regional security support operations.

Previously, as the EurAsian Times reports, there has been a notable escalation in air combat over the Black Sea as Kiev relies on NATO intelligence to counter Russian threats. Even since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the "clashes" have intensified.

Earlier this week, a Russian fighter jet approached a Polish plane over the Black Sea. Polish border guard spokeswoman Anna Michalska revealed that the Russian Su-35 fighter jet engaged in an "aggressive and dangerous maneuver", flying within about 15 feet of the Polish aircraft.

Read Also: Russian Su-35 Fighter Jets Unsafely Intercept Polish L-410 Over the Black Sea

Photographs show a L410 Turbolet aircraft being approached by a Russian Su-35 fighter during a patrol flight over the Black Sea on May 5, 2023. Polish authorities say the Russian aircraft flew without radio contact and then made three aggressive and dangerous approaches to the Polish aircraft.

The Russian fighter jet's actions resulted in a momentary loss of control for the Polish flight crew. A series of similar encounters have taken place from the Baltic to Syria, where US pilots, in particular, nearly collided with Russian planes several times.

In March, a Russian Su-27 fighter sprayed fuel and intentionally rammed a US MQ-9 Reaper drone flying over the Black Sea, resulting in the downing of the drone. This incident marked the first documented instance of direct physical contact between Russian and American aircraft since the start of the war in Ukraine.

In 2022, a Russian fighter jet targeted a British manned reconnaissance plane flying over the Black Sea by firing a missile. Fortunately, however, the ammunition was out of service, preventing a potential all-out war.

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