The American military’s F-35B joint strike fighter jet has conducted its first-ever airstrike, according to the US Marine Corps.
The strike took place in Afghanistan on Thursday against a fixed Taliban target, CNN reported.
The aircraft involved were the US Marine Corps’ variant of the planes flying from the USS Essex amphibious assault ship.
The Marines confirmed the strike in a statement: "During this mission the F-35B conducted an air strike in support of ground clearance operations, and the strike was deemed successful by the ground force commander."
The F-35 stealth jet has been called the most expensive weapons system in history and its development was beset by multiple delays before it was deemed combat ready.
It is touted as the future of military aviation: a lethal and versatile aircraft that combines stealth capabilities, supersonic speed, extreme agility and state-of-the-art sensor fusion technology, according to Lockheed Martin, the plane’s primary contractor.
The F-35B is one of three variants of the F-35 aircraft and the only one with the ability to land vertically like a helicopter. It can also take off in a much shorter space than other fighter jets.
The F-35 has been a favourite of President Donald Trump, who has lauded the aircraft several times for being "invisible".
The aircraft has reduced capability to be seen by adversary radars but is not invisible.>