The Lightning Strike is similar to the Mortar TeamKillstreak from Call of Duty: Black Ops in that one chooses three target points to deliver a payload on the map. Three FA38 planes rapidly drop bombs on the selected locations, thereby killing its targets much quicker than the mortar team and making it near impossible for the enemy to escape.
When calling in the Lightning Strike, there will be a single UAV sweep shown on the targeting map, to allow players to more accurately use the streak. This UAV sweep will only work the first time the Lightning Strike is used, so if the player selects the Lightning Strike to be used, but then puts it away, the second time the player uses it, there will not be a UAV sweep. Players who are using Ghost with its effect currently active during the time of the UAV sweep will not be shown. Only one bomb is dropped per FA38, so it is possible to survive the explosion even if players are in its radius.
After the 1.04 patch (For PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360 users), a 750 millisecond delay was added between the targeting of the bombing areas and the strike itself. This significantly lessened the scorestreak's effectiveness.