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F-35 Lightning II

US stops F-35 fighter jet parts delivery to Turkey

After months of warnings, the United States has stopped delivery of F-35 fighter jet parts to Turkey in retaliation for Ankara’s decision to move ahead with the purchase of a Russian surface-to-air missile system, U.S. officials said Monday. Top U.S. government leaders have repeatedly threatened to shut down Turkey’s plan to buy the F-35 advanced fighter aircraft if Turkey didn’t abandon efforts to buy the S-400 Russian system. Halting the ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

Search underway for missing Japanese F-35

The radar wake of a Japanese F-35A stealth fighter disappeared over the Pacific Ocean about 73nm (135km) east of Misawa air base on 9 April at 19:27 local time. The Japanese military has commenced a search mission for the aircraft and its single pilot, though the country’s air force offered no details on suspected causes of the disappearance. The Lockheed Martin F-35A was engaging in night-time training with three other F-35A jets, ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

US Navy declares F-35C stealth fighter aircraft mission-ready

The US Navy has announced that the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is ready for operational use after meeting all requirements. The F-35C achieved initial operational capability (IOC) after the Navy’s first F-35C squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, completed aircraft carrier qualifications aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighter programme, which is regarded as the country’s most ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

Britain grounds entire F-35 fighter Jet Fleet

The most expensive weapons system around, the F-35 has been plagued by a flurry of problems which have sent the costs spiraling upward. The UK grounded its fleet of £120 million per plane ($158.5 million) F-35 stealth fighters following the crash of a US jet in September. Britain’s current fleet of 15 F-35 fighter jets that arrived in the country in June, is being examined to determine if last month’s ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

Three U.S. senators move to block F-35 transfers to Turkey

Three U.S. senators introduced a measure on Thursday aimed at blocking the transfer of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Turkey, a NATO ally and one of nine partner nations involved in producing the high-tech, radar-evading aircraft. The bill, by Republicans James Lankford and Thom Tillis, and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, comes at a time of deteriorating relations between the United States and Turkey, which supported the fight against Islamic ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

As F-35 production increases, cost per fighter to drop

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program’s goal of driving down costs is becoming a reality as the production of all three versions ramps up. As the program reaches full production during the next couple of years, the cost per-jet is expected to drop below $100 million for all three versions, said Vice Adm. Mat Winter, director of the JSF program, during a presentation at Navy League’s Sea Air ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

First Japanese-built F-35A lands at Misawa AB

A Defense Contract Management Agency government flight representative landed the first Japanese-made F-35A on Misawa AB’s runway. Maj. Elijah Supper piloted the brand-new aircraft from the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Komaki South F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out facility, and was quickly joined by two F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 115th Fighter Wing, Wisconsin National Guard, there to escort the new jet across the Pacific. “This F-35 is one of the ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

200 F-35s indefinitely unfit for combat

The Pentagon may end up with about 200 F-35s that remain unready for war. Because of defense budget headaches, the money to fix them up is going somewhere else. The Armed Services are presently spending their money on brand new Joint Strike Fighters. That means up to $40 billion in older planes built before the F-35 design was complete could forgo upgrades meant to bring them up to the latest ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

Air Force to release F-35 weight restrictions

Air Force leaders recently removed the restriction that kept pilots weighing less than 136 pounds from flying the F-35A. The restriction was imposed in 2015 due to concerns about the risk during ejections in a portion of the flight envelope. After rigorous testing to ensure the escape system works reliably and safely in all planned conditions and across all pilot weights, three distinct modifications were implemented. A switch was installed ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

Engine upgrades for the F-35

The F-35 joint program office is eyeing the middle of the next decade for when major upgrades to the engines on the joint strike fighter can proceed. Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, who heads the JPO head, said at last week’s Air Force Association conference that the “mid-2020s” is when the power plant on the joint strike fighter could be refreshed, whether through improvements to the Pratt & Whitney F135 design ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

F-35 to be armed with AIM-9X and JDAM

The Air Force expects to operationalize the F-35’s latest “3F” software iteration by October or September of this year, a development which will integrate additional technology and equip the stealth aircraft with a wider range of weapons such as the Small Diameter Bomb and AIM-9X, service leaders said. After experiencing some challenges during developmental testing, the 3F software drop is now improved and sharpened up for delivery, Brig. Gen. Scott ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

F-35s forward deploy to Bulgaria

Two F-35A Lightning IIs and about 20 supporting Airmen arrived at Graf Ignatievo Air Base April 28 from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England. The F-35As are participating in the first training deployment to Europe. The aircraft and total force Airmen are from the 34th Fighter Squadron, 388th Fighter Wing, and the Air Force Reserve’s 466th Fighter Squadron, 419th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. “The United States and ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

Spain, Belgium poised to be next F-35 buyers

At last week’s Avalon Airshow in Melbourne, Australia, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program director said the company is looking to ship more F-35 joint strike fighters to European clients, The Indian Express reported. “We are starting to see other customers think about the F-35 being added to their fleet,” Jeff Babione, an executive at Lockheed, told reporters in Australia. Finland may be interested in the F-35 as well, an unofficial source told The Indian Express. “We are talking ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

Israeli air force flies first F-35 night sortie

Israeli air force pilots conducted their first night flight with the F-35 since receiving the new 5th-generation fighter jets. The flight was conducted to assess the aircraft’s nighttime capabilities. After the mission’s completion, Israeli air force officials commended what they called a successful operation, going as far as to say there was no difference between day flight and night flight. “Night flights are not unusual occurrences,” Lt. Col. Yotam said ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

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