Washington: “We are prepared for a war today” was the clear message conveyed by the drill conducted by the F-35 fighter jets of the United States demonstrating their amazing skills in the skies, fit to prove a threat to their enemies. This exercise conducted in the Utah State of the United States at the Hill Airforce Base is known as Elephant Walk Drill. This demonstration is considered to be a fitting blow delivered by the United States against the claims made by Russia over the SU-57 and by China over the G-20 fighter jets.
Since the past few months, international reports including those from the United States, were making claims that the United States could be defeated as its capabilities would fall short against the Russian and Chinese capabilities. These inferences were drawn based on the consistent increase in the defence capabilities and demonstration of new technologies including missiles, by Russia and China. Some of the former as well as serving US officials also had confirmed this.
Against this background, the exercise conducted by the most advanced fighter jets F-35 developed by the United States becomes significant. F-35 is from the fifth generation Stealth Fighter category costing more than $ 100 million. They are criticised for being the most expensive fighter jets in the world and the defence department had to take the flak for repeated failures in their initial testing.
After the first testing in 2006, the F-35s were inducted in the US Airforce in the year 2015. More than five versions of this fighter jet have been developed, and more than ten countries including the United Kingdom and Israel have F-35s operational in their air force.
Elephant walk is considered to be the most crucial stage in assessing the capability of a fighter jet. This exercise checks as to how many fighter jets can take off and be operational in a limited time span in a war situation. The US officials claimed that thirty-five F-35s took off within a time span of 20 to 40 seconds which endorsed their capability.