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    U.S. Marine Corps Begins F-35B Operational Trials

    Six U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs arrived aboard the USS WASP this week to mark the beginning of the first shipboard phase of the F-35B Operational Test (OT-1). According to the report: The at-sea period will continue aboard USS WASP for the next two weeks, with fleet representative aircraft and maintenance personnel from Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 22, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, Marine | Read More »

    F-35 program ‘on right track’, director says

    Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program’s top official at the Pentagon, told a House Armed Services Committee panel on April 14 that despite setbacks, the program is on the right track to meet its delivery goals, and is steadily improving. From DoD News coverage: Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan updated members of the committee’s tactical air and land | Read More »

    Air Force: F-35 ready for initial combat in 2016

    The Air Force is nearly ready to declare its F-35 fighter jets ready for initial combat use as early as August 2016, according to a top F-35 official. Major General Jeffrey Harrigian, a two-star general and pilot with more than 4,100 hours flying in fighter jets including the F-22, told Reuters this week that the Air Force variant of the F-35 was making progress towards | Read More »

    Alaska bases closer to winning F-35 fleet

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) 50% 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 | 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 »