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F-35B of the "Avengers" on the USS Essex flight deck, September 22, 2018.
Two GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided bombs are on the loader next to it.
US Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Francisco J. Diaz Jr.
According to CNN, The US military's F-35B joint strike fighter conducted its first-ever airstrike on Thursday, confirmed by the US Marine Corps and three US defense officials.
This is the first use of any variant of the F-35 in combat ever.
The F-35Bs are attached to the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which left San Diego with the Essex Amphibious Ready Group on July 10. The strike took place in Afghanistan against a fixed Taliban target.
It’s unclear at this point which bomb was utilized.
The aircraft involved were the US Marine Corps' variant of the aircraft 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."
Lockheed Martin, the jet's primary contractor, touts the F-35 line as combining stealth capabilities, supersonic speed, extreme agility and state-of-the-art sensors.
The vertical takeoff and landing F-35B is one of the most expensive variants of the F-35, costing $122 million each.
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