The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter
aircraft fleet recently exceeded 100,000 flight hours while the
F-35 Integrated Test Force teams are completing the remaining
requirements in the program’s System Development and Demonstration
“This 100K milestone marks a
significant level of maturity for the program and the F-35 weapons
system,” said Lockheed Martin Executive Vice President and F-35
Program General Manager, Jeff Babione. “We are well positioned to
complete air vehicle full 3F and mission systems software
development by the end of 2017.”
development flight testing includes validating the final release
of 3F software, F35B ski jump testing, F-35B austere site
operations, high-Mach Loads testing for both the F-35B and F-35C
and completion of the remaining weapons delivery accuracy tests.
Major SDD fleet test milestones in recent months
· Completed testing for the F-35A’s final
envelope involving high risk ‘edge of the envelope’ maneuvers,
stressing the aircraft to its limits in structural strength,
vehicle systems performance, and aerodynamics while proving
excellent handling qualities.
· Completed all U.K. Weapon
Delivery Accuracy tests for the AIM-132 ASRAAM and Paveway IV
weapons, and completed 45 of 50 SDD Weapon Delivery Accuracy tests
including multiple target and multiple shot engagements as well as
internal gun and centerline external pod 25mm gun accuracy tests.
· Performed multi-ship mission effectiveness tests, such
as Offensive Counter-Air and Maritime Interdiction, demonstrating
the performance of the F-35 System.
variants of the F-35 Lightning II will replace the F-16 Fighting
Falcon and A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II for the U.S. Air Force, the
F/A-18 Hornet for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV8B Harrier for
the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for 11 other
countries, to date.
Following the U.S. Marine Corps' July 2015
combat-ready Initial Operational Capability (IOC) declaration, the
U.S. Air Force attained service IOC in Aug. 2016 and the U.S. Navy
will IOC in 2019.