Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office have achieved a new milestone with the delivery of the 500th F-35 joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft.

Additionally, the F-35 enterprise has exceeded 250,000 flight hours last month.

The 500th aircraft produced is the US Air Force’s F-35A, set to be delivered to the Burlington Air National Guard Base in Vermont.

The company has so far delivered 354 F-35A conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) variant, 108 F-35B short take-off / vertical landing (STOVL) variant and 38 F-35C carrier (CV) variants, as well as foreign customers.

F-35 aircraft have been manufactured and produced for customers worldwide, including the US military, the UK and Australia.

The jet is currently being operated by nine nations while eight services have declared Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for their aircraft.

In addition, the F-35 has been used by four services to conduct combat operations.

Lockheed Martin F-35 programme vice-president and general manager Greg Ulmer said: “These milestones are a testament to the talent and dedication of the joint government, military and industry teams.

“The F-35 is delivering an unprecedented fifth-generation combat capability to the warfighter at the cost of a fourth-generation legacy aircraft.”

The first F-35A aircraft conducted its maiden flight in December 2006.

The original version of the aircraft was enhanced and flew its first flight in November 2009.

The multi-role, supersonic, stealthy fighter aircraft can perform air defence, ground attack and reconnaissance missions.