US Carries Out First Airstrikes With F-35 in Iraq

Massively expensive warplane carries out first strikes ever

A US F-35A has carried out a pair of airstrikes against targets inside northern Iraq. They say the strikes were against ISIS, claiming to have hit a tunnel network and a weapons cache.

This marks the first time the F-35A has been used in combat. This was widely expected, with the jets deployed into the region on April 15, and officials hotly anticipating the first use of them.

The F-35 program has been wildly expensive, and the Pentagon are eager to start putting them into the field, where it can stop being an overpriced prototype and start being an overpriced vehicle in active combat.

Recent estimates are that the F-35 and its variants will cost conservatively $1 trillion over their lifetime for the Pentagon. Some estimates are even projecting this to go to $1.5 trillion, which seems reasonable given how many previous estimates have proven far below the reality of the matter.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.