The F-35 fleet has achieved 200,000 flight hours across global operations and within the same week, the F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin also delivered the 400th production F-35.

“The F-35 air system is a key enabler of our National Defense Strategy and delivers the combat proven, advanced capabilities our warfighters and Partners need to meet mission requirements,” said Vice Admiral Mat Winter, Program Executive Officer for the F-35 Joint Program Office.

“This 400th delivery is a significant milestone as the F-35 Enterprise continues to grow and expand around the world. The collaborative efforts across the JPO, U.S. services, partners, and industry remain focused on driving costs down, quality up, and faster delivery timelines across our development, production, and sustainment lines of effort.”

The 400th production aircraft is a U.S. Air Force F-35A, to be delivered to Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The production total is comprised of 283 F-35A, 87 F-35B and 30 F-35C deliveries. The 200,000 flight hours includes all F-35s in the fleet comprised of developmental test jets, training, operational, U.S. and international aircraft. Among the three variants, approximately 125,850 hours were flown by the F-35A, 52,410 hours by the F-35B and 22,630 by the F-35C.

“These milestones are a testament to the joint government, military and industry teams designing, building, sustaining, maintaining, operating and flying F-35s around the globe,” said Lockheed Martin Vice President and F-35 Program General Manager Greg Ulmer.

To date, 400 F-35s have been delivered and are now operating from 17 bases worldwide.

Recently, the 17th F-35B for the UK was delivered. Numbers right now are exactly where they’re expected to be and inline with the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

2 F-35B in LRIP run 3, 1 F-35B in LRIP run 4, 1 F-35B in LRIP run 7, 4 F-35B in LRIP run 8, 6 F-35B in LRIP run 9, 3 F-35B in LRIP run 10, 2 F-35B in LRIP run 11, 2 F-35B in LRIP run 12, 6 F-35B in LRIP run 13, 8 F-35B in LRIP run 14 and 7 F-35B in LRIP run 15. This brings us to 42 in 2023. The next run brings us to the total of the first batch of aircraft, 48.

It is hoped that 138 F-35 aircraft will have been delivered by the 2030s. Around 2023, the Ministry of Defence have indicated that the UK will have 42 F-35 aircraft with 24 available as ‘front-line fighters’ and the remaining 18 will be used for training (at least 4-5 on the OCU), be in reserve or in maintenance.

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Helions
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Helions

The problem for the USN’s “C” model is, they have no HOME….

https://news.usni.org/2019/06/03/congress-unhappy-with-ford-class-inability-to-deploy-with-f-35-fighters

Anybody else have an issue with this as well?

Cheers

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

What bargins the QEC are by comparison.

Less clout in the air group but the UK does not need super power levels of clout like that.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

With the size of the DoD budget Helions it’s interesting that even you have budget issues.

Chris H
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Chris H

I must be careful what I say about another country’s military but if i was an American taxpayer I would have some $17 Bn issues with the USS Ford. I say that figure as the R & D costs are somehow magicked away in that article Launched (floated up) 9 months before the QE and it still does not work as designed and incapable of operations let alone combat. Forgive my waving my Union Flag here Helions but I think our $5 Bn QE looks a bloody good buy right now as at least it can sail oceans and operate… Read more »

Helions
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Helions
Helions
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Helions

On a COMPLETELY different note: Will you PLEASE come and clean up your toys!!!??? 😀

https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/06/03/revolutionary-war-shipwrecks-get-first-good-look-in-years/

It’s not POLITE to litter…

Cheers!

Rokuth
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Rokuth

The F-35C can still deploy onboard the other USN CATOBAR carriers. Please see the link below from the same source:

https://news.usni.org/2019/02/28/navy-declares-initial-operational-capability-for-f-35c-joint-strike-fighter

So the F-35C still has MULTIPLE HOMES.

Helions
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Helions

Hi Rokuth, absolutely correct on the Nimitz class’s ability to fly Charlie models, however it’s not the F35C I’m concerned about. (despite it shortcomings, the F35 is what we have and it will have to do) my bigger point is that the “buggy before the horse” approach being used by the USN regarding the development of the GRF class has been a disaster from the start. The Ford is going to return to the fleet this year with only 2-3 of it advanced weapons elevators certified for use, testing ongoing on its EMALS, and numerous other issues. Yes, it is… Read more »

Helions
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Helions
Rokuth
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Rokuth

Agree with you about the GRF. Problems with new tech is always going to be buggy at the beginning. Murphy’s Law in full effect on that ship.

However, isn’t the JFK going to have all the same new tech, like EMALS, on it as well? Only difference being that it will be built incorporating all the lessons learnt from the GRF.

Helions
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Helions

The JFK is benefiting from the (many) painful lessons learned during the induction and trials of the GRF. The ship is ~ 90% physically complete with the installation of the island and several months ahead of schedule. A big advantage she’ll have during shakedown will be not having to remove and reinstall systems such as the balky weapons elevators, the EMALS should be functioning correctly by then, the radar problems will be fixed, the main thrust bearings on the shaft will not be defective ( a HUGE problem on GRF) – etc – all of the systemic issues plaguing the… Read more »

John Hampson
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John Hampson

Forgive the waffle below but these comments I posted on another story might be appropriate. Especially the Chinese M band radar.

John Hampson
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John Hampson

The F-35 will never be able to overcome its inherent weakness, its limited internal weapons load. It will always have to choose between acting as the eyes and ears operating in tandem with a bomb/missile truck or abandoning its stealth to carry a significant weapon load out using external pylons. Even in stealth mode as it reveals its presence with the first shot. So it must then manoeuvre to avoid getting itself into a dogfight which it would probably lose. There will never be sufficient numbers to overcome its limitations. So if it is limited in peer to peer engagements… Read more »

John Hampson
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John Hampson

A couple of points. Even if the F-35 is used as the eyes and ears role this would be result in diminishing returns. As soon as the F-35 transmits to Typhoons or to Meteors its EM emissions light up its position. The F-35 is not invisible. It is a low observable aircraft. Once it reveals its presence the task of tracking it is eased. I understand that the F-35 can only carry 2 Meteors internally (Meteors are too big for secondary internal hard points) and 2 ASSRAM. Not much to go up against an opponent with a reasonable air force.… Read more »

Helions
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Helions

A good point which is one of the reasons the USAF wants to purchase these upgraded F15EXs to act as networked bomb trucks for F35s in the initial phase of a full scale war to avoid exactly that to which you refer…

https://warontherocks.com/2019/06/f-15ex-the-strategic-blind-spot-in-the-air-forces-fighter-debate/

Cheers

John Hampson
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John Hampson

1 Cheap. The F-35 grew out of a program initially named “ Common AFFORDABLE Lightweight Fighter”. The objective was to develop a CHEAP fighter to support the F22 program whose unit cost had grown to such an extent that the F22 program was eventually shut down mainly because costs had become unacceptable. 2. I am not disputing the capability of the F-35 to collect and process data. Nor did I dispute that the F-35 is difficult detect with, C, X or Ku bands. But when it does emit or increase its RCS ( radar cross section ) it reveals its… Read more »

John Hampson
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John Hampson

I am not disputing the capability of the F-35 to collect and process data. Nor do I dispute that the F-35 is difficult detect with, C, X or Ku bands. But when it does emit EM or increase its RCS ( radar cross section ) it reveals its presence and all that flashy stealth goes out the window. Stealth has its limits and the sales pitch is distracting from this. A technology development is almost certain to catch up with the F-35. It was a surprise in Gulf War 1 when the RN’s obsolete L band radars detected the F117.… Read more »

David
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David

Simple fact is that until this aircraft faces a decent adversary no one will really know what it can and cannot do. Its very unlikely that we know all its abilities. Stealth will only really matter at the start of a campaign anyway, to get rid of the anti air obstacles that lower gen aircraft would struggle with. The Harrier faced criticism when it was new and untested, once it saw action its apparent weakness’s mattered not one bit. I tend to think that if an aircraft looks right, it is right. All the great fighters and bombers looked the… Read more »

John Hampson
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John Hampson

David. I agree entirely. I freely accept I am no expert but it makes sense to question manufactures sales pitches. After all potential adversaries are looking to for weaknesses. But if the Chinese have actually produced this M band radar that would be a real game changer.

David
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David

Your quite right John, manufacturers do like to play loudly to the products strengths and conveniently forget it’s weaknesses. State sponsored statements of ability’s is also a political weapon, designed to create disharmony within the opposing states political heirachy. Saying you can defeat the main attributes of your adversaries newest tech helps fuel the sceptical sections of both government and society and if you get lucky the project runs into too much resistance and maybe gets down graded or even scrapped. No doubt people are working on radar or other detection systems but how effective they are remains to be… Read more »