Two F-35A fighter jets have conducted airstrikes on a Daesh tunnel network in Iraq, marking the first time the aircraft has been flown in a combat mission, US Central Command said Tuesday, Anadolu reports.
“We have the ability to gather, fuse and pass so much information, that we make every friendly aircraft more survivable and lethal,” said Lt. Col. Yosef Morris, 4th Fighter Squadron commander and F-35A pilot.
“That, combined with low-observable technology, allows us to really complement any combined force package and be ready to support AOR [area of responsibility] contingencies.”
Morris said the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II plane has the ability to gather information from a battlespace in real time and then share it with other F-35s.
The jet is touted as one of the world’s most advanced stealth aircraft.
The planes were deployed to Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates as part of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the Daesh terrorist group and the threat it poses to Iraq, Syria and the international community.
The strikes come nearly three weeks after a Japanese F-35A jet crashed into the ocean during a training mission.
It was only the second incident where an F-35 crashed in an accident. In September, a US F-35B jet crashed near Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina.