The US Department of Defence (DoD) has accepted its 45th F-35 delivery for 2015, meeting the production goal for the year.

Lockheed Martin has delivered 154 operational aircraft to the US and partner nations since the programme was initiated.

Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer said:

“Meeting aircraft production goals is a critical stepping stone in demonstrating the program is ready for the expected significant production ramp up, it took thousands of people around the world to achieve this milestone and they should all be proud of what they accomplished.”

The 45 F-35 deliveries this year include:

•  26 F-35A – U.S. Air Force

•  2 F-35A – Royal Norwegian Air Force (first two)

•  1 F-35A – Aeronautica Militare (first Italian Air Force)

•  8 F-35B – U.S. Marine Corps

•  8 F-35C – 4 U.S. Navy /4 U.S. Marine Corps

Britain is expected to purchase 138 F-35B aircraft. In an interview with The Sunday Times, George Osborne said the investment will ensure the UK has the world’s second most potent carrier strike force after the United States, with the resources to tackle IS and other extremist groups for a generation.

**UPDATE - The SDSR has now confirmed this**
Mr Osborne said:

“My spending review this week is all about security – national and economic.

By bringing forward the purchase of the world’s most advance stealth fighter jets, we will enhance our ability to respond to threats wherever and whenever necessary. With more jets on board, our independent aircraft carrier capability will be second only to our closest allies, the Americans.

These are versatile multi-role fighter jets, able to engaging in air-to-air and air-to-ground combat, giving us the ability to deal with evolving threats. And of course, British businesses and workers will benefit from this decision too, which is worth £29 billion to the UK supply chain.”

The purchase goes far beyond what most defence analysts, including ourselves, expected and is the centrepiece of the Government’s strategic defence review.

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Hector

Malcolm Andrews

“F-35 makes 2015 goals a year late! Something something cost. Should have kept the Harrier. Somthing somthing dog fights and China, yeah China!!!”

Rob Simmonds

Don’t forget “Grumble grumble…Pierre Sprey… F16 dog fight… rage… Bloody american shit, should have bought British….” too 🙂

Jack William Millen

Of course, this wouldn’t be an F-35/CVF thread without “cats n traps….f18 squadrons…..helicopter aew/asac has zero range…”

Allan Southern

Harrier FFS should have kept the Sea Vixen!

Harriers are toy jets compared with the F35 (but then many cliser to it always believed it was a Toy Jet! ) — Gets coat…. 🙂

Harrier?! What year do you live in? Get with the times man. We need new jets with newer technology to meet the demands of today’s battlefield .

Malcolm Andrews

James read above, all the comments here are satirical.

jon livesey

“James read above, all the comments here are satirical.”

Right, but such is the quality of comments on UK defence that it’s often difficult to tell.

Jim Ball

Why on earth have we not bought the Qahar-313 😉

Michael Hynes

Regardless of your political affiliation, I think everyone has learned by now to take anything Osborne says with a large dose of salt. And / or LSD.

The F-35 is far from operational. It’s not getting sent anywhere near the sh*t any time soon.

Lugia Lee Kane

f35 should be a ground attack plane f22 air superiority fighter simple

UK Defence Journal

It’s not that simple, they’re both multi-role platforms able to offer commanders on the group far more utility than if they were single role.

Pretty difficult as even the US need around 3000 new ac and the F22 is out of production now not least because because too expensive.

Jack

The US Marine Corp has already declared their first squadron operational and confirmed that it could send six or more F35Bs to the middle east to take part in ops if necessary on a Wasp class ship.

Simon

Sorry to be pernickety, but why does the article say the US Dept of Defence has accepted its 45th delivery of the aircraft in 2015, when the breakdown shows only 42 went to the US forces and the other 3 went to Norway & Italy?

Jake Hayes

Nice it just needs to prove itself, unfortunatly it is not as good at dogfighting as shown against the f16… Stealth is where its advantage is at.

Beno

Hi Jake, The F16 issue was a test of the flight control paramiters not a dogfight + the F35 was not allowed the HMD helmet mounted display, one of its main advantages.

This HMD coupled with Britain’s ASRAAM short range A2A missile that can hit targets behind the aircraft will allow the F35 to be a more than adequate short range dog fighter.

it of course remains to be seen, but I suspect it will outperform even the latest F16 in this its worst case sinario.