The multi-national Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program has logged its 500th delivery, with the handing over of an F-35A to the USAF.
The 500th delivery is a key milestone for the once-ailing program, and is another sign of growing maturity. Of the 500 jets delivered, 354 are F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) models – including 20 for Australia – 108 are F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL), and 38 are F-35C carrier variants (CV).
Another milestone that coincided with the 500th delivery was the logging of 250,000 hours by the global F-35 fleet, including all test and developmental test flying.
“These milestones are a testament to the talent and dedication of the joint government, military and industry teams,” Greg Ulmer, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program vice president and general manager said in a statement. “The F-35 is delivering an unprecedented 5th Generation combat capability to the warfighter at the cost of a 4th Generation legacy aircraft.”
Lockheed Martin says the F-35 is operated by nine nations on their home soil and from 23 bases, and that four nations have used the aircraft in combat operations. It adds that 985 pilots and nearly 9,000 maintainers have been trained on the jet.