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Meet The High Speed Pieces Of Gear That Just Saved Special Operators In Syria

U.S. Air Force Reserve photo/Tech. Sgt. Dana Rosso

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Kevin Klenkel Kevin Klenkel is an intern at The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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  1. The U.S. just sent two of these bad boys to ward off Syrian encroachment on Kurdish militias.

Two Syrian aircraft tried to pass through Hasaka air space in northern Syria — an area where U.S. special operation forces were stationed with Kurdish militias. Once coalition F-22s were within a mile, the Syrians were on their way out.

The F-22 Raptor is the child of the Cold War; proof of American air dominance. This cutting-edge piece of machinery has been the most effective fighter jet since it was first launched almost 20 years ago.

Here’s 12 cool facts about the F-22, paired with some stellar images.

An F-22 Raptor from the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 199th Fighter Squadron returns to a training mission after refueling March 27, 2012, over the Pacific Ocean near the Hawaiian Islands. During the training, U.S. Air Force Academy cadets received a familiarization flight to get a better understanding of the Air Force's global reach capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth)

1. The F-22 Raptor is designed so well Howard Hughes would blush. Minimized drag, minimized radar and infrared signature and horizontal tailfins to shield exhaust heat to minimize susceptibility to heat-seeking missiles are just some of this plane’s amazing features.

An F-22 Raptor assigned to the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing takes off Jan. 23, 2013, from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., during Exercise Red Flag 13-2. Each Red Flag exercise is an advanced aerial combat training opportunity that spans two weeks and is held at Nellis or Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The exercises host air crews from various U.S. and allied military units and air frames. (Leading Edge Images photo/Glenn Bloore) 

(Leading Edge Images photo/Glenn Bloore)

2. This plane is truly unparalleled. Not perpendicular, either. With no right angles it is harder to detect by radar. Everything on this jet makes it harder to detect, like sawtooth shapes on cockpit edges, landing gear doors and a coating that absorbs radar.

 Capt. John Cummings executes a maneuver during a solo demonstration May 21, 2014, at Langley Air Force Base, Va. Local media outlets were invited to watch as the F-22 Raptor demonstration team prepares for the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Air Show and Patriotic Festival held May 30 through June 1. Cummings is a 1st Fighter Wing F-22 pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kayla Newman/Released)


 (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kayla Newman/Released)

3. A warning from these two can create a de facto no-fly zone in seconds.

A pair of F-22 Raptors pulls away and flies behind a KC-135 Stratotanker after receiving fuel off of the East Coast on July 10, 2012. The 1st Fighter Wing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., received their first two Raptors in January 2005 and the wingÕs 27th Fighter Squadron was designated as fully operational in December 2005. The Raptors belong to the 27th FS and the KC-135 belongs to the 756th Air Refueling Squadron at Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility, Md. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock)

(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock)

4. A true marvel, the F-22 is the world’s first fifth-generation fighter that is fully operational. It has been the king of the skies for almost two decades.

An F-22 Raptor flies over Alaska terrain after refueling Jan. 5, 2013. The F-22 is assigned to the 3rd Wing and flown by a Reserve pilot assigned to the 302nd Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo/Tech. Sgt. Dana Rosso)

(U.S. Air Force Reserve photo/Tech. Sgt. Dana Rosso)

5. In a dogfight, the F-22 makes other jets look like house cats. It has 480 rounds for a M61A2 20-millimeter cannon and two AIM-9 infrared and six AIM-120 radar guided missiles. That’s just for air-to-air combat.

A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor aircraft flies alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft, foreground, during Red Flag-Alaska 13-3 over the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex Aug. 14, 2013. Red Flag-Alaska is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation forces, providing combined offensive counter-air, interdiction, close air support, and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment. (DoD photo by Senior Airman Zachary Perras, U.S. Air Force/Released)

(DoD photo by Senior Airman Zachary Perras, U.S. Air Force/Released)

6. For ground pounds, the Raptor has two 1,000-lb GBU-32 JDAMs and two AIM-120 missiles. 

An F-22 Raptor backs away from a KC-135 Stratotanker during a training mission over central New Mexico Oct. 23, 2013. The Raptor is assigned to the 49th Fighter Wing, at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. The KC-135 is from McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier)

7. Oh yeah, now with the AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder, the F-22 has the ability to strike behind itself.

Five F-22 Raptors fly in formation over Tyndall Air Force Base during an event held in their honor Jan. 6. These jets mark the beginning of a new mission at Tyndall and are the first five of 24 marked to call Tyndall their new home. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dustin Mullen)

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dustin Mullen)

8. The F-22 can get to ungodly speeds, upwards of 1,500 mph, putting it in the Mach two class. That’s twice as fast as the speed of sound.

An F-22 Raptor from the 199th Fighter Squadron positions itself to receive fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 96th Air Refueling Squadron Jan. 10, 2014, near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Both aircraft and their crews participated in the Inaugural Total Force Integration Warrior Day, a training event that tested the cooperation and capabilities of multiple base agencies. The training highlighted the importance of integrating operations of active-duty, Hawaii National Guard and Air Force Reserve units. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez)

9. There are only 186 of these Raptors, and production ceased in 2011.

An F-22 Raptor from the 27th Fighter Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., takes off to begin a training mission during Red Flag 14-1 at Nellis AFB, Nev. The 27th FS is one of many U.S. and coalition units deployed to Nellis AFB to participate in three weeks of simulated air-combat training over the 2.9 million acre Nevada Test and Training Range. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Kleinholz)

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Kleinholz)

10. The F-22 is so incredible in air-to-air combat that no one will even engage. In 2013, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh disclosed a story about Lt. Col. Kevin Sutterfield while escorting a drone through Iranian international airspace, “He flew under their aircraft to out their weapons load without them knowing that he was there, and then pulled up on their left wing and then called them and said ‘you really ought to go home.'” They did.

An F-22 Raptor performs aerial maneuvers July 25, 2014, in support of the Arctic Thunder Open House at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Arctic Thunder, a biennial event, features more than 40 Air Force, Army and civilian aerial acts and hosts a crowd of more than 200,000 people. It is the largest two-day event in the state and one of the premier aerial demonstrations in the world. The Raptor is assigned to the 90th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Operations Group, 3rd Wing at Elmendorf. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joseph Araiza)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joseph Araiza)

11. The F-22 is the most effective and intimidating jet on Earth. In a simulated combat exercise in 2006, a dozen raptors downed 108 opposing aircraft with no losses.

An F-22 Raptor taxis toward the runway prior to flying a Red Flag 15-1 training mission Feb. 4, 2015, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Night missions have been integrated into Red Flag to prepare aircrews for missions in low-light environments. The F-22 is assigned to the 94th Fighter Squadron at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle)

12. Only in America y’all.

An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, participates in a training sortie with F-22 Raptors Sept. 9, 2015, over the U.K. The Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and approximately 60 Airmen and their associated equipment to Spangdahlem AB. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson)

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