22:20 GMT11 July 2020
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    Countering a non-existent Russian threat to Europe costs a pretty penny but for the United States money does not seem to be an issue. Take the inaugural F-22 deployment to Europe.

    The fifth-generation stealth fighter, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, costs some $150 million apiece. But the actual price soars to $350 million if maintenance and repairs costs are included, Germany's N-TV news channel reported citing expert estimates.

    Each Raptor is worth some $44,000 per flight hour, the media outlet noted.

    Washington has recently sent four of its super modern F-22 fighter jets to Germany to take part in the largest airborne war game in Europe since the end of the Cold War. The deployment, accompanied by a massive charm offensive on social media, will last until mid-September.

    The F-22 deployment is part of the $1 billion European Reassurance Initiative, which the US launched in response to the Ukrainian civil war, which the West blames on Russia. The program provides funds for enhanced military drills, the deployment of military equipment and the rotational presence of US forces across Europe.

    US and NATO officials claim that these activities are purely defensive in their nature but Moscow and all those wary of Washington and Brussel's increased muscle flexing remain unconvinced.

    The Kremlin has repeatedly voiced its concerns over NATO's growing assertiveness in Europe, especially close to Russia's borders. Meanwhile, Moscow has been actively involved in promoting the Minks peace process aimed at offering a diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian civil war sparked by the US-sponsored coup.

    In this Aug. 7, 2008 file photo, a static display of a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor jet is seen at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va.
    © AP Photo / Gary C. Knapp, File
    In this Aug. 7, 2008 file photo, a static display of a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor jet is seen at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va.

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    Tags:
    geopolitics, cost, fighter jet, military drills, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, Germany, Europe, United States, Russia
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