Last month the Air Force declared its variant “ready for combat,” and most press reports lauded this as a signal that the program had turned a corner. But a memo issued from the Pentagon’s top testing official, based largely upon the Air Force’s own test data, showed that the declaration was wildly premature.
It might be that the Air Force is fighting a different war than the one the Pentagon is fighting. So the rules of Orientation are different in each battlespace. A fighter jet like the one the Pentagon wants most likely positions and postures itself differently than the one the Air Force wants
I mean the F 35 has shown the ability to shoot down rockets. It is basically what makes it a 5th Generation fighter. This ability comes from the fact that the F 35 is similar to a flying saucer (except when the Pentagon attaches ordinates outside the mass of its symmetrical planes) and the Air Force has a plan to use them as such. How you fight rockets with an Airplane, you can’t, as I am sure the Pentagon knows well. How you fight rockets with an F 35 is anyone’s guess.
Of course to use them properly they must position them as close to the target (the target the F 35 wants to hit) as possible. Incoming rockets move at something like 22,000 mph, so the F 35 would need some time to do some real maneuvering to swat them out of the sky before they reach the target.
Just guessing. I could be wrong.
Source: The F-35 Stealth Fighter May Never Be Ready for Combat