Lightning seriously damaged two American F-35B Lightning II fighters.
The incident occurred on July 13, but official information about it appeared recently on the website of the US Marine Corps. It is known that lightning struck the F-35B short takeoff and landing fighters during the flight. The pilots were not injured and managed to land safely at the Iwakuni Air Base in Japan. However, the planes were seriously damaged. Judging by the fact that the incident was assigned Class A, the repair will cost more than $ 2.5 million.
By the way, fighters of the traditional take-off version of the F-35A were previously prohibited from flying in a thunderstorm due to problems with the OBIGGS on-board inert gas generation system.
The vertical take-off version of the F-35B has a slightly different design of the OBIGGS system, which is placed around the lifting fan and historically makes it immune to lightning problems.
As The Drive portal noted, the grim irony is that a few days after the incident, a photo of a pair of F-35A Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II fighters protected by lightning rods, against which a real lightning strikes, was published on the official account of the Nellis Air Force Base on Twitter. In the tweet, the question sounds: "What do you think, which lightning strikes more strongly?", beating the name of the fighter (Lightning in English"lightning").