US Air Force send warning to Iran as 52 stealth fighters take off in single wave
The US Air Force has today launched more than 50 fully-armed Lightning II stealth fighters in a single wave.
The 52 F-35A aircrafts, worth a whopping $4.2 billion (£3.19bn), took off in quick succession from the Hill Air Force Base in Utah.
The exercise carried out by the active duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings displayed the Air Force's huge strength and sends a warning to Iran.
The US continues to brace for Iran to respond to the drone strike killing of its most powerful general – Qassem Soleimani.
"We're ready to fly, fight, and win," the 419th Fighter Wings tweeted after the exercise.
They added the exercise "pushed the boundaries and tested our Airmen's ability to deploy the F-35As en masse".
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.
"A little more than four years after receiving their first combat-coded F-35A Lightning II aircraft, Hill’s fighter wings have achieved full warfighting capability."
Each F-35A fighter is worth about $89.2 million (£67 million).
The US received its first F-35A at the Hill Air Force Base four years ago.
Since then, the Fighter Wings have been training pilots, engaging in multiple large combat exercises and supporting two Middle East combat deployments.
Col. 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."
Last night, Iranian adviser Hasameddin Ashena tweeted a link to a Forbes article listing all properties owned by the US President.
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