Did you know the premier aerial combat aircraft in the Air Force inventory can also drop bombs? Well, yes it can! The F-22 Raptor recently joined in on a mission to Afghanistan and took out a Taliban drug lab!
The bombing was part of Operation Jagged Edge, a campaign to attack Taliban drug production. Heroin is one of the main moneymakers for the Taliban, who use it to fund their guerrilla war against the Afghan government and its American backers.
The use of a F-22 Raptor to bomb a drug site was reportedly driven by several factors. One, the targets were in an area with civilians nearby, and that required a precision weapon with a small explosive payload. The Small Diameter Bomb, a 250-lb. precision-guided bomb that can fly more than 45 miles to strike targets, was the obvious and perhaps only choice for the task. – Popular Mechanics
The small diameter bomb is a precise and accurate tool that allows the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing to deliver decisive air power.
Featured image of 94th Fighter Squadron F-22A Raptor pilots droping Joint Direct Attack Munitions by U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II