USAF receive 300th F-35A Lightning II fighter jet

12 June 2018 (Last Updated June 12th, 2018 11:43)

F-35 Joint Program Office has completed the delivery of the 300th F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft together with Lockheed Martin.

USAF receive 300th F-35A Lightning II fighter jet
The 300th production F-35 aircraft flies off the flight line in Fort Worth, Texas, US. Credit: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.

F-35 Joint Program Office has completed the delivery of the 300th F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft together with Lockheed Martin.

The F-35A variant of the fighter jet has been delivered to the US Air Force’s (USAF) Hill Air Force Base (AFB) in Utah.

To date, the 300 aircraft delivered to the US and other international customers feature 197 units of the F-35A conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) variants, 75 F-35B short take-off / vertical landing (STOVL) jets and 28 units of the F-35C carrier variants (CV).

With an increase in production volume and integration of additional efficiencies, Lockheed Martin intends to reduce the manufacturing cost of an F-35A aircraft to $80m by 2020.

“We are focused on reducing costs, increasing efficiencies, and ensuring the highest level of quality as we ramp to full-rate production and sustainment of the operational fleet.”

Lockheed Martin F-35 programme vice-president and general manager Greg Ulmer said: “This milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our joint government and industry team as we collaborate to deliver transformational F-35 capabilities to the men and women in uniform.

“We are focused on reducing costs, increasing efficiencies, and ensuring the highest level of quality as we ramp to full-rate production and sustainment of the operational fleet.”

With more than 1,500 suppliers across 46 states and Puerto Rico, the F-35 Lightning II programme supports more than 194,000 direct and indirect jobs in the US, in addition to more than 100 international suppliers that help generate or sustain thousands of international jobs.

This year, the F-35 development team intends to deliver a total of 91 aircraft and is preparing to increase production volume year-over-year to hit a rate of approximately 160 aircraft in 2023.

Built by Lockheed, the F-35 aircraft is a lethal, survivable and connected fighter jet with stealth technology, supersonic speed, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range.