Dozens of F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter jets took to the runway on Monday in Utah for a Combat Power Exercise. The 52 aircrafts were used in the drill conducted by the active duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings at Hill Air Force Base.
Together, the aircrafts cost a staggering $ 4.2billion (£3.5billion).
The event showed the Air Forces ability to deploy a large force of the F-35As.
Fighter Wings revealed the F-35s have finally reached the capability of full warfighting.
Colonel Steven Behmer, 388th Fighter Wing commander, said: “Every training opportunity, exercise and deployment we’ve completed over the past four years has been a key stepping stone in reaching full warfighting capability.
“This is just the beginning of sustained F-35A combat operations and we will remain focused on staying ready to deploy whenever, wherever we’re needed.”
The exercise was planned for several months, but its execution came in the same week the US continues to brace for Iran to respond to the killing of its top general in Iraq.
The 419th Fighter Wings tweeted they were “ready to fly, fight and win”.
The 388th Fight Wingers said: “The exercise, which was planned for months, demonstrated their ability to employ a large force of F-35As – testing readiness in the areas of personnel accountability, aircraft generation, ground operations, flight operations, and combat capability against air and ground targets.
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Last year, the Air Force deployed its F-35A stealth fighter jets to the Middle East for the first time.
The model is branded as the most advanced military aircraft ever sent into the skies.
The Air Force has previously boasted that the jet “improves lethality, survivability and adaptability against emerging threats in order to maintain air superiority”.
An F-35 is the first to combine radar-evading stealth technology with supersonic speeds and the ability to conduct short take-offs and vertical landings.
It has the ability to operate from land and sea and has previously been hailed as a huge leap forward in aerospace technology.
F-35A jets are are the conventional takeoff and landing variant version of the aircraft.