SUPERSONIC f-35B fighter jets to embark on their FIRST combat mission for US ‘within days’

THE MOST expensive single weapons system ever - the US’ f-35B supersonic fighter jets - will be used for air strikes on Afghanistan in their first combat mission “within days”, after decades of development.

Source: iPolitics

The Marine Corps’ stealth f-35B Lightning fighter jets are aboard the USS Essex amphibious assault ship, which recently sailed from the Gulf of Aden to the North Arabian Sea, one official said.

It is now reportedly heading towards the Persian Gulf next to Saudi Arabia, where it will be in a good position to conduct airstrikes over Afghanistan.

The fifth generation aircrafts have been heralded as state-of-the-art military machines with their stealth capabilities, supersonic speed, extreme agility and sensor fusion technology.

The F-35B is one of three variants of F-35, the only one with the ability to land vertically like a helicopter.

It can also take-off at a much shorter distance than other jets, which is why it can operate off the USS Essex which is half the size of the average aircraft carrier in a US fleet.

The US f-35 pilots have been carrying out intelligence and surveillance duties in Somalia, while on standby to conduct air support for troops on the ground.

They were not however used in an airstrike on Saturday that killed 18 militants.

In May, Israel Defence Forces announced they were using their version of the F-35 in operational missions, in particular two airstrikes in unspecified locations.

This was the first time the F-35 has ever been used in combat.

The f-35 model has had many setbacks in its development, including problems with software, engines and weapon systems.

US military leaders insist that all the problems have now been resolved and the first squadron in of aircrafts in the US marines were ready for deployment in July 2015.

This was then followed by the Air Force’ first fleet in August 2016.

President Donald Trump has previously praised the aircrafts for being ‘invisible’.

Although the aircraft they are less likely to see seen by enemy radars, they are still visable.

The news of these airstrikes comes as the United Nations Assistance mission to Afghanistan found that civilian casualties from airstrikes surged in 2018 by around 52 percent.

Defence officials in Afghanistan refused to comment on future operations in the country.

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