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.