Never before seen footage of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter was declassified on March 7, 2022. The footage shows an F-35I taking out UAVs in the air.
The F-35 has been used by the United States and other ally countries. The Israeli Defense Forces adopted the plane with great enthusiasm, and the fighter said combat in 2018.
According to the now unclassified report, when two Iranian UAVs tried to fly in Israeli airspace on March 15, 2021, the Israeli Air Force used their F-35I "Adir" fighter jet to stop them. The report also states that the UAVs were headed for the Gaza Strip with weapons.
In the video footage, the pilot sees the drone and gets clearance to shoot it down. Once the pilot obtains permission to shoot, he fires a missile that successfully connects with the drone, destroying it.
Another IDF pilot, also in a F-35, sees the second drone and moves to intercept it. The video does not show this pilot getting permission to fire, but it is assumed that he already has it.
He fires and connects with the drone destroying it with a missile. The feat may not look flashy, but it is impressive nonetheless. UAVs of that size are difficult to pin down, and taking the out takes a whole different level of skill and accuracy.
About The F-35
The F-35 was created as a replacement plane for the aged F-16 Fighting Falcon, A-10 Thunderbolt, F/A-18 Hornet, and AV-8B Harrier II. Each branch needed something a little different, but all F-35s had the same purpose, infiltrating airspace, delivering missiles accurately, and getting recon information.
The plane also needed to fly at Mach 1 or above. Many nations use the F-35 including Israel, Japan, South Korea, U.K., Canada, Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, Denmark, Norway, and Australia.
The F-35A was tested by the Air Force in 2006 when it was first developed and took its first shipment in 2011. Squadrons were trained on the fighter plane in 2011 and in 2014 the first complete F-35A squadron was the 58th Fighter Squadron. They were declared combat-ready in 2016.