Pentagon weighs deploying F-35s against ISIL

by WorldTribune Staff, July 10, 2016

The United States may deploy the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), a U.S. Air Force general said.

“There’s no reason to suppose that the F-35 stealth fighter will be sent to fight in Syria within the next few years. But it’s likely that these planes will join F-22 Raptors in the fight against ISIL,” Gen. Robert Carlyle told Aviation Week.

The F-35 is expected to be declared combat ready by Aug. 1.
The F-35 is expected to be declared combat ready by Aug. 1.  /AP

Carlyle made the comments after confirming that the F-35 is expected to be declared ready for combat by Aug. 1.

In the past few months, Lockheed Martin and other military production companies have been “working out bugs and improving the Autonomics Logistics Information System (ALIS). This is the final step before the F-35s become operational.”

A squadron of F-35s was recently sent to the Mountain Home base in Idaho “in order to examine their readiness for deployments to bases without the special infrastructure designed for stealth aircraft.”

Carlyle said the tests were successful and added “this is an important factor prior to the expected operational declaration.”

“If the U.S. head of CENTOM and the commanders of other military groups ask, and if it is decided that the F-35’s abilities are needed in this battlefield, I will decide whether to place the aircraft in the arena,” Carlyle said.