Lockheed Martin, BAE and other partners have achieved another milestone in the Joint Strike Fighter programme with delivery of the 100th F-35 to the US Air Force.
The F-35A aircraft, AF-100, arrived at Luke Air Force Base on August the 26th from the factory in Texas to join the 62nd Fighter Squadron.
Brigadier Geneneral Brook Leonard said:
“This marks a milestone and shows the fact that the F-35 programme has continued to grow, progress and support initial operational capability. It is also a ‘scare factor’ for our enemies that we are able to produce such an incredible platform at such a high production rate and that it’s getting out in the field in larger and larger numbers.”
The F-35 is a family of stealth multirole fighters undergoing final development and testing for the United States and partner nations.
The fifth generation aircraft has three main models: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant, the F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing variant, and the F-35C carrier-based Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) variant.
In July 2015, the first squadron of F-35B fighters was declared ready for deployment after intensive testing by the United States Marines. In August 2016, the US Air Force declared its first squadron of F-35A fighters combat-ready.
The United Kingdom is the sole “Level 1” partner, contributing $2.5 billion, which was about 10% of the planned development costs under the 1995 Memorandum of Understanding that brought the UK into the project.
Level 2 partners are Italy, which is contributing US$1 billion; and the Netherlands, US$800 million.
Level 3 partners are Turkey, US$195 million; Canada, US$160 million; Australia, US$144 million; Norway, US$122 million and Denmark, US$110 million.
Israel and Singapore have joined as Security Cooperative Participants .
Japan announced on 20 December 2011 its intent to purchase 42 F-35s with deliveries beginning in 2016 to replace the F-4 Phantom II; Japan seeks 38 F-35s, to be assembled domestically.