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.
“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.