The F-35 Might Finally Be A Thing We Have In Our Arsenal

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F-35A Lightning II aircraft receive fuel from a KC-10 Extender from Travis Air Force Base, California on July 13, 2015, during a flight from England to the U.S.
U.S. Air Force photo Staff Sgt. Madelyn Brown

After years of delays and a growing price tag, the Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II is now mission capable.


"I am proud to announce this powerful new weapons system has achieved initial combat capability," said Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command in a CNN report. "The F-35A will be the most dominant aircraft in our inventory because it can go where our legacy aircraft cannot and provide the capabilities our commanders need on the modern battlefield."

According to an Air Force press release, there are currently 12 F-35’s at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, that are deemed initially operationally capable, which means they are able to penetrate areas with established air defenses, provide close air support to ground troops and be rapidly deployed to areas of conflict. Additional aircraft are anticipated to be ready in August.

Related: Is The F-35 Program Finally Getting Its Act Together? »

According to the Air Force press release, during an F-35 deployment exercise at Hill Air Force Base, seven fighters participated in 88 sorties, sustained no losses in simulated dog fights with F-15s and had a hit rate of 94%.

Not bad.

NEC Corp.'s machine with propellers hovers at the company's facility in Abiko near Tokyo, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. The Japanese electronics maker showed a "flying car," a large drone-like machine with four propellers that hovered steadily for about a minute. (Associated Press/Koji Sasahara

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In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)

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Photos: IMDB

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

The legendary former Navy SEAL Adm. Bill McRaven said at an event on Wednesday that China's technical and national defense capabilities were quickly approaching — and sometimes surpassing — those of the US, representing what he called a "holy s---" moment for the US.

McRaven, who was the head of Special Operations Command during the 2011 operation on the Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's Pakistan compound, said at the Council on Foreign Relations event that "we need to make sure that the American public knows that now is the time to do something" about China's rapid increases in research and developments in technology that threaten US national security.

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