The US Air Force launched a search operation last night after one of its Lockheed Martin F-22 fighters failed to return to its base following a training mission.

“An air force F-22 assigned to the 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson lost contact with air traffic control at 7:40pm Alaska time today while on a routine training mission,” the USAF says in a brief statement.

The service confirms that “a search is underway”, and says: “more information will be released as it becomes available”.

F-22 Alaska - USAF 
© Staff Sgt Brian Ferguson/US Air Force

News of the missing Raptor comes just months after a C-17 strategic transport from the USAF’s 3rd Wing crashed at Elmendorf-Richardson AFB, killing all four crew members.