USAF F-35A Squadrons: A Complete Guide

The F-35 is the first aircraft to serve in three different versions, planned from the outset in all US services. In the first of a two-part feature, Gérard Keijsper focuses on the operational units of the US Air Force (USAF) F-35 fleet.

The contract announcement for the F-35 development came on October 26, 2001. The winning design was an evolution of the X-35, which had beat stiff competition from Boeing’s X-32. The F-35A has a great internal fuel ratio when compared with the F-16, as was promised by Lockheed Martin’s secretive Skunk Works division from the outset of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme. The first aircraft on the assembly line was overweight and as such was used as a pathfinder for systems testing.

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