While Israel laid claim to being the first country ever to use the US-made F-35 fighter jet in combat, the US may follow suit soon, according to defense officials.

CNN reported the comments on Tuesday, citing several officials who said the fifth-generation stealth aircraft are currently aboard the USS Essex amphibious assault ship. They added that the jets will likely be in position to conduct airstrikes in Afghanistan in the coming days.

The vessel has already sailed to the North Arabian Sea and is on its way to the Persian Gulf, according to the report. The F-35s have been conducting intelligence and surveillance missions in Somalia.

Israel claimed that its F-35s conducted combat missions last May, marking a first for the aircraft, which has been plagued with production delays and other technical setbacks.