Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office delivered the 500th F-35 this week – while the world F-35 fleet has surpassed 250,000 flight hours.
FILE PHOTO: An RAAF F-35A at RAAF Base Williamtown. Photo by Brian Hartigan.
The 500th production aircraft is a US Air Force F-35A, to be delivered to the Burlington Air National Guard Base in Vermont.
The 500 F-35s include 354 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variants, 108 F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variants and 38 F-35C carrier (CV) variants.
Lockheed Martin Vice President and General Manager of the F-35 program Greg Ulmer said these milestones were a testament to the talent and dedication of the joint government, military and industry teams.
“F-35 is delivering an unprecedented 5th generation combat capability to the warfighter at the cost of a 4th generation legacy aircraft,” Mr Ulmer said.
F-35 operates from 23 bases worldwide.
More than 985 pilots and 8890 maintainers have been trained.
Nine nations use the F-35 from their home soil, eight services have declared Initial Operating Capability and four services have employed F-35s in combat operations.
Australia has received 20 of its total 72 F-35s to date.