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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

F-35s head to Japan

Mrking a major milestone in its development, the long awaited operational deployment of the F-35 is underway. A group of Joint Strike Fighters from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, the “Green Knights,” left their home base at MCAS Yuma in Arizona on Monday, starting their hop across the Pacific to their new home at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Japan. Once bedded down there, a total of 10 F-35Bs ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

F-35 begins integrated training with F-16

In October, pilots of the 56th Fighter Wing began flying integrated direct support practice sorties in the F-35A Lightning II and the F-16 Fighting Falcon for the first time as a regular component of the training curriculum at Luke Air Force Base. The integrated training comes as part of the next step in the development of F-35 training and tactics, and helps pilots become efficient in conducting futuristic mission sets ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

F-35B makes landing on specially designed ship

Aboard the USS America – The surf was high where the amphibious assault ship America sailed off the coast of San Diego — high enough to make the flight deck pitch and roll and set the conditions for a few minutes of crisis when an unfortunate sailor fell overboard and had to be rescued by helicopter. But with sea states between three and four, indicating swells from three to eight ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

Lockheed rolls out first F-35A for Japan

Senior Japanese and U.S. government officials joined Lockheed Martin to celebrate the roll out of the first Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) F-35A Lightning II, marking a major milestone in Japan’s enhanced national defense and strengthening the future of the U.S-Japan security alliance. The ceremony was attended by more than 400 guests from both governments, militaries and defense industries. Kenji Wakamiya, Japan’s State Minister of Defense spoke at the ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

Air Force grounds 15 F-35

Less than two months after declaring the controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter ready for combat, the Air Force on Friday announced that it was temporarily grounding 15 of the jets after it discovered that insulation was “peeling and crumbling” inside the fuel tanks. The setback is the latest for the $400 billion system, the most expensive in the history of the Pentagon. The problem comes as the program, which for years faced ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

F-35 is ‘not on a path to success’

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been hailed as the ‘most expensive weapon in history,’ and with a price tag of $400 billion for 2,457 planes, the fifth-generation fighter has been plagued with issues. But it appeared the tide had finally turned earlier this month when the U.S. Air Force has declared an initial squadron of Lockheed Martin Corp F-35A fighter jets ready for combat. Now, the Pentagon’s director of ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

A close-up look at the F-35A

The U.S. Air Force declared its first squadron of fifth-generation fighter jets, the F-35A Lightning II, combat ready earlier in August. This remarkably advanced and powerful single-seat, single-engine fighter features advanced situational awareness, stealth, speeds of about 1,200 mph and much, much more – and it’s designed to be capable of a range of missions with just one aircraft. The next-gen jet is designed to strike highly-defended targets anywhere on ...

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Category: F-35 Lightning II

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