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The Rapid Raptor concept seeks to quickly deploy a package of F-22 Raptors and supporting logistics to any forward operating base in the world, and have the aircraft in combat-ready status within 24 hours of employment.
The deployment package uses at least one C-17 Globemaster III aircraft to swiftly move, refuel and rearm a minimum of four F-22s in unfamiliar, austere environments, with a smaller footprint.
The ability to launch F-22s to a non-traditional location with a complement of additional pilots, embedded maintenance, and fuel and munitions allows for unprecedented flexibility in fifth-generation fighter aircraft deployment.
Deployment schedules, mission tasking and supply chains can now be shorter and more flexible. Commanders can shape the adversary's response plans, provide realistic first-strike capability and enable follow-on operations with a degree of credibility only possible when the adversary doesn't know exactly how the deployment will develop.
If jets, no matter how technically advanced, tactically skilled and strategically sound in the air, can leap only from well-known base to well-known base, their first-strike threat is limited. That has fundamentally changed for the Raptor.