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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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    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 »

    Luke AFB On Track To Becoming Main F-35 Training Site

    Arizona’s Luke Air Force Base is well on its way to becoming the primary U.S. pilot training center for the F-35 Lightning II program, according to Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan, the Pentagon’s top F-35 program official. When complete, Luke will host six squadrons of 24 F-35 jets, with 144 total aircraft. According to coverage in the Arizona Republic: “We have asked them | Read More »

    Australia Taking Delivery of F-35; Plans to Buy 72

    An Australian defense spokesperson has confirmed that the country will accept delivery of its first F-35 Lightning II fighter on Thursday. Australia plans to purchase 72 F-35s, joining the United Kingdom, Japan, and six other nations partnered with the U.S. in the production of the fifth-generation fighter program. The purchase of the F-35, according to Australia’s defense force statement, will complement the Royal Air Force’s | Read More »

    Defense News Editorial: Full Speed Ahead on F-35

    The Pentagon announced this week that while the recently grounded F-35 fleet will be returning to limited flight, it will not be participating in this month’s Farnborough Air Show. The fighter jets had already missed the other prominent European air show of the summer, the Royal International Air Tattoo. While the program has taken criticism in the weeks following the grounding, which was due to | Read More »