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The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will provide the U.S. military and allied forces with the next generation capabilities they must have in today

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    Alaska bases closer to winning F-35 fleet

    and the other members of the Alaska Congressional delegation are applauding an Air Force announcement indicating their interest in basing 48 F-35 fighter jets in their state, possibly at Eielson Air Force Base. The Air Force issued a notice last week that it would begin meetings in Alaska to discuss an environmental impact study, the first step towards bringing the F-35 to Eielson. According to | Read More »

    Ex-Navy Air Boss: F-35s “Essential” To Carrier Air Wings

    Vice Adm. David H. Buss stepped down as the Navy’s “air boss” last month. Vice Adm. Buss reports that the F-35’s recent successful sea trials showed that the fighter jet is close to becoming operational, and that it is “essential to the future of carrier air wings”. From Navy Times coverage: “I’m very happy with where we are with the program now,” Buss said during | Read More »

    F-35 Lightning II Program Meets Aircraft Production Goal for 2014

    Last month, the Defense Department accepted the final F-35 Lightning II aircraft delivery for 2014. With the delivery of this aircraft, the CF-19 F-35C for the Marine Corps, Lockheed Martin officially met the production goal of 36 aircraft for the year. In total, 109 operational aircraft have been delivered to the U.S. and its partner nations. The final aircraft of 2014 was also the first | Read More »

    Report: Automated manufacturing could drive $125 million from cost of F-35 canopies

    The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has developed a method to build canopies for the F-35 Lightning II that could reduce the costs of the Joint Strike Fighter program by as much as $125 million. ONR has found a way to automate the manufacturing process for the canopies (which consist of the transparent portion of the cockpit) that is both safer and more cost effective, | Read More »

    UK F-35B Achieves Key Weapons Test Milestone

    A UK team has completed initial testing for ASRAAM and Paveway IV weapons on the F-35B fighter. The testing took place in November at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland, United States. From the release: The trial or ‘dummy’ weapons rounds, which are identical in fit and form to the operational weapons, were tested on the Short Take-off Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B for the | Read More »

    Video From F-35C Sea Trials Aboard USS Nimitz

    The F-35C, the Navy’s variant of the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter jet, has been conducting sea trials aboard the USS Nimitz this month, resulting in some spectacular images and video. Among the inaugural sea trials taking place this month, the aircraft successfully launched from and landed on an aircraft carrier for the first time: Check out a great roundup of photos from week one | Read More »

    Pentagon: Latest F-35 Deal Shaves Unit Costs by 4%

    The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin announced a new production contract for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter this week, with the new purchase deal cutting costs for each aircraft by close to four percent. The contract will include the Defense Department procuring 43 F-35 jets. From DoD Buzz coverage: Under the previous production contract, the Pentagon in 2013 agreed to pay $112 million per | Read More »

    Luke Opens Training Center for F-35 Pilots

    Air Force officials, legislators, aerospace and defense industry representatives and others gathered in Arizona this week for the inaugural event to mark the opening of the first F-35 training center at Luke Air Force Base. The new facility will serve as the primary pilot training center for F-35 Lightning II pilots, including those from Joint Strike Fighter program partner countries. From The Arizona Republic coverage: | Read More »

    Opinion: Stealth now the “baseline” for air combat

    In an opinion piece posted on the Jefferson Policy Journal, Rob Givens, a retired USAF officer and air combat strategist, argues that low observable, or stealth technology, needs to become the baseline for all air combat. He underscores this argument by stressing the need to move away from 4th generation fighters and towards the 5th generation technology of the F-35 Lightning II, comparing the difference | Read More »

    Reuters: Pratt says next F-35 engine deals will cut costs by 7-8 pct

    Pratt & Whitney announced this week an expected price drop of 7 to 8 percent with its Pentagon contracts for their next two batches of F-35 Lightning II engines. They further announced that a fix for the engine issues that temporarily grounded the fighter jet fleet earlier this year should be in place for some test aircraft by the end of 2014. From Reuters: Bennett | Read More »