Wednesday, January 26, 2011

F-22 Raptor, 'smartest fighter' likely at Aero India

The world’s most advanced combat aircraft, the F-22 Raptor, is likely to make a rare appearance outside the US during the upcoming Aero India show in Bangalore next month. This will be the first appearance of the stealth fighter, which is also the only operational fifth generation fighter aircraft in the world, in India and its third participation at an international air show.

Final details are being worked out by the US, but sources said that two of the fighters are set to be flown in for the air show that begins on February 9 and will be showcased as a static display. Defence Ministry officials confirmed that the fighter is likely to make its Indian debut at the air show, making the latest edition of the Aero India the grandest ever.

While it was inducted into the US military in 2005, the stealth aircraft has rarely been seen outside its country and has made appearances only at limited air shows, the first being at Farnborough in 2008. According to a release by the US State department, the only other participation has been at an air show in Chile last year. However, the fighter has also carried out flying demonstrations at the Dubai air show. Its participation at the Aero India would take it up by several notches in the international order of air shows.

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