HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - They're stealthy and fast and they'll be patrolling Hawaii's skies. The military unveiled two F-22 Raptors Friday morning.
The F-22 Raptors received a uniquely Hawaiian welcome on the flight line. They're the most advanced fighter jets in the US Air Force.
"As far as aircraft handling, or just systems capabilities to go out there and engage the enemy, this F-22 is hands-down the best aircraft in the world," said pilot Chris Faurot.
This morning, the military dedicated the first two of 20 F-22s that will be stationed in the islands.The Raptor can deflect radar and operate at super cruise speed of roughly 1200 miles an hour, without using afterburners.
"We always want to have an advantage over our enemy and so what this F-22 gives us the ability to take the fight to the enemy, reach out and touch him where he is at before he even knows we're there," said Faurot.
"The Pacific Command is now the area of major concern to our nation. It is an area that may have a potential for explosions," said Senator Daniel Inouye.
The fancy warplanes come with a hefty price tag $147 million each. The cost concerned President Obama and he successfully pushed to stop production of the fighter jets.
"It's made at the national level between the Department of Defense and the executive branch the decision was made and we clearly fully support and understand that. We are very confident in the airplane," said General Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle.
The F-22s will be replacing the older F-15s. The Raptors will be flown by pilots from the air force and the Hawaii Air National Guard.
"Just like you would think going from eight tracks to DVDs. That's pretty much what it's like. So it's a great improvement in technology and we're just thrilled to have it here," said pilot Col. Harvey Newton.
The other Raptors will arrive in stages. All twenty should be in Hawaii by November of next year.
The first two F-22 Raptor fighter jets being based here will put on a free show Friday night. The 15-minute demo starts at 6:45 off the Waianae coast.