Raptors Wrecked By Michael


By some estimates as many as 22 F-22 Raptor fighters were damaged or destroyed when Hurricane Michael scored a direct hit on Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida on Wednesday. Tyndall is the main F-22 base in the U.S. and according to various sources only 33 of the base’s 55 Raptors were evacuated ahead of the storm. The balance couldn’t be flown because of maintenance or other issues and some had to be left outside. The precise fate of the remaining 22 planes, which are worth at least $140 million dollars each, hasn’t been clarified by the Air Force but it acknowledges that some were damaged.“We anticipate the aircraft parked inside may be damaged as well, but we won’t know the extent until our crews can safely enter those hangars and make an assessment,” it said in a statement.

Raptors aside, the base itself suffered hundreds of millions of dollars of damage. Virtually none of the various buildings and facilities escaped damage from the big storm. Top military brass are on the scene to assess the damage to assets and capabilities and the Air Force took pains to reassure the public that the remaining Raptors still have a big bite. “The Air Force remains capable of executing its combat mission across the world with aircraft from other bases, as well as those that were evacuated from Tyndall in advance of the hurricane,” it said in a statement.