HONG KONG — The U.S. is sending a large force of its powerful F-22 stealth fighter jets to the western Pacific as tensions with China increase daily.
The move is seen as a warning to China to curb its aggressive actions around Taiwan and in the South China Sea.
Here are the details: CNN reports that the U.S. Air Force is sending an unusually large force of F-22 stealth fighters to the western Pacific this month.
Approximately 25 F-22s will be joined by 10 F-15 fighters and support planes, as part of an exercise that is meant to send a strong message to China, amid growing tensions about China's actions around Taiwan and in the South China Sea.
The exercise is designed to spread U.S. combat planes out among airfields across the region, to increase their chances of surviving enemy missile strikes.
Much of the U.S.'s air power in the western Pacific is concentrated in two large military installations on Okinawa and Guam.
A strike on those bases could cripple the U.S. military's ability to hit back if too much U.S. air power was concentrated there.
The new exercise will see crews practicing from smaller, less developed airfields on Guam and islands like Tinian.
The new strategy would increase the number of targets enemy missiles would need to destroy and give U.S. air power a better chance of being able to fight back.
Like the F-35, the F-22 is a fifth-generation combat jet, which is currently the most advanced class of fighter aircraft in the world.
These planes incorporate stealth technologies and connect on-board sensor systems with off-board information systems to give their pilots a detailed view of the battle space.