Lockheed Martin commemorated the 100th F-35 Lightning II today with a ceremony for employees, elected officials and customers.
The 100th F-35, known as AF-41, will be the first F-35 delivered to Luke Air Force Base (AFB) in Glendale, Ariz.
- Of the first 100 F-35s produced, 44 are F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variants, 42 are F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variants and 14 are F-35C carrier variants (CV)
- 87 F-35s have been delivered to the Department of Defense
- 67 Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Aircraft
- There are 34 LRIP F-35s based at Eglin AFB, Fla. (18F-35A (two international aircraft), 14F-35B (including three international aircraft) and 2 F-35C)
- There are 2 LRIP F-35As, 2 LRIP F-35Bs, and 1 F-35C based at Edwards AFB, Calif. on loan for SDD
- There are 5 LRIP F-35As based at Edwards AFB, Calif., for Operational Testing
- There are 16 LRIP F-35Bs based at MCAS Yuma, Ariz.
- There are 4 LRIP F-35As based at Nellis AFB, Nev.
- There are 3 LRIP F-35s based in Fort Worth expected to ferry to Eglin AFB
- 20 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) aircraft complete the test and development fleet
- There are four F-35As assigned to Edwards AFB, Calif., and five F-35Bs along with four F-35Cs stationed at PAX River NAS, Md. This count includes six static aircraft and AA-1
- There are eight international partners on the F-35 Lightning II program – Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Additionally, Israel and Japan are acquiring the F-35 through the U.S. Government’s Foreign Military Sales program.
- Lockheed Martin was awarded the Joint Strike Fighter System Design and Development contract on October 26, 2001.
- On July 7, 2006 the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was officially named the Lightning II to honor the World War II-era Lockheed P-38 Lightning and the mid-1950s Lightning supersonic jet built by English Electric.
- Chief Test Pilot Jon Beesley made the first F-35 flight on December 15, 2006.
- The Department of Defense plans to acquire 2,443 F-35s to recapitalize current fighter fleets.
- Per unit costs have decreased by more than 55 percent since the procurement of the first production model F-35, which was delivered in 2011.
- The F-35 will leverage more than 8 million lines of software code for full functionality, while the F-22, the world’s only other operational 5th generation fighter, uses approximately 2.2 million lines of code.
- The F-35 program supports more than 133,000 U.S. jobs in 45 states and Puerto Rico. This figure includes both Lockheed Martin employees and the employees of the F-35 program suppliers.
- In the state of Arizona, there are 1,178 direct and indirect jobs related to the F-35 program. The economic impact of these jobs on the State of Arizona is $91.7 million.
- Australia joined the F-35 program in 2002, and announced its selection of the F-35 in 2009.
- The F-35A is comprised of 280,000 individual parts while the F-35B is made up of 300,000. The F-35C consists of 290,000 individual parts. Despite their differences, the three variants are actually 80 percent common.
Air Force Leader Outlines Joint Strike Fighter’s Value
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2013 – On the day that Lockheed-Martin delivered its 100th F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter to the Air Force, the service’s leaders today marked the milestone and outlined the aircraft’s value.
The F-35 will be delivered to Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., where it will serve as the first training aircraft for pilots of the fifth-generation fighter.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III called the event “a big deal for the Air Force” during a Pentagon news conference this morning.
Welsh discussed the service’s need for the Lightning II, a need that became even more acute, he said, after the Defense Department truncated the total buy of F-22 Raptor fighters.
The F-22 was to provide theater wide air superiority, the general said. But with too few F-22s to provide this umbrella, F-35s must pick up the slack. “You have to have the F-35 to augment the F-22 to do the air superiority fight at the beginning of a high-end conflict to survive against the fifth-generation threats we believe will be in the world at that point in time,” he said.
Even with upgrades, Welsh said, current air superiority fighters — F-15 Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons — cannot survive against a fifth-generation threat.
“Operationally, it’s just a fact,” he added. “I am certainly not willing to go to my secretary or the secretary of defense or to the chairman [of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] and say, ‘I would recommend that we keep our old equipment and update it, and just accept more losses and count on the incredible ability of our aviators to win the fight anyway…..’”