Considering all the money the US government spent on the F-35, it makes sense the Air Force would want to show them off.
To that end, the Pentagon has released a video taken by the US Air Force of a drill involving F-35s from the 419th and 388th Fighter Wings. It starts with the jets lined up in formation at the Hill Air Force Base in Utah before taking off in rapid succession at intervals of about 20 to 40 seconds.
According to RT, the drill was intended to demonstrate "the readiness and lethality" that the US Air Force could bring to bear by deploying the jets against air and ground targets.
Time lapse snippet as we launched 35 F-35As alongside the @AirForceReserve @419fw as we demonstrated our #AirPower today. 📷: 2nd Lt. Christina Judd #F35 @usairforce @USAF_ACC pic.twitter.com/OC6rywsvLO— 388th Fighter Wing (@388fw) November 19, 2018
The leader of one of the fighter squadrons brought this point home in a brief comment to the media.
"We are ready to fight tonight," Major Caleb Guthmann of the 34th Fighter Squadron said.
The production of the F-35 was famously plagued by delays, design flaws, and cost overruns. In one of his first controversial tweets after winning the 2016 election, President Trump complained about the "tremendous cost" of the jets.
Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016
In response, Lockheed Martin agreed to cut their price.