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Raptors Under Hawaii Rainbow Nearly Makes One Forget These Beasts Are Meant to Destroy

One 20-millimeter cannon packing 480 rounds, radar-guided air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, and the capability of dropping them and getting out of Dodge at two times the speed of sound. These are just a few of the details that make the F-22 Raptor a beast worthy of its name.
Four F-22 Raptors and one rainbow 13 photos
Four F-22 Raptors and one rainbowF-22 Raptor and the American flagF-22 Raptor taking off from Alaska baseF-22 Raptor taking off from HawaiiF-22 Raptor taking offF-22 Raptor over Nellis Air Force BaseF-22 RaptorF-22 RaptorF-22 RaptorF-22 RaptorF-22 RaptorF-22 Raptor
For all intents and purposes, it was the Raptor that started the bloodline of fifth-generation aircraft, of which, at the time of writing, there are just three others, one American, one Chinese, and one Russian. It is also the only one from this select group of four that is no longer in production, and the existing fleet of under 200 of them is everything the world will ever get.

That kind of makes them precious for the U.S. Air Force (USAF), which flies them regularly to keep them in shape, but also misses no opportunity to show the world how amazing the F-22 looks like doing what it was born to do.

From time to time, factors conspire to make the images released by the USAF show this killing machine in almost serene and peaceful stances. And what do you know in this world to be more serene and peaceful than a rainbow?

The shot we have here was snapped at the beginning of March, at the Marine Corps Base Kaneohe in Hawaii, during an Agile Combat Employment exercise christened Ho?oikaika. That would be “an operational concept that leverages networks of well-established and austere air bases, multi-capable Airmen, pre-positioned equipment, and airlift to rapidly deploy, disperse and maneuver combat capability throughout a theater,” as per the USAF.

It shows four Raptors deployed with the Hawaii Air National Guard 199th Fighter Squadron and 19th Fighter Squadron, their telltale canopies glimmering as they sit on the tarmac of the base, embraced from above by the seven colors of the rainbow in a painting-quality image.

Editor's note: Gallery shows other F-22s.

 
 
 
 
 

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