Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II
Lockheed Martin and its international partners developed the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) in three basic versions: the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35A, the short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B and the carrier-variant (CV) F-35C. Since the first F-35A flew in December 2006, the fleet has racked up more than 155,000 flight hours, including more than 17,000 during development testing.
Delivery of production aircraft began in 2011 and the F-35B achieved initial operational capability (IOC) with the US Marine Corps in July 2015. The F-35A followed with the USAF in August 2016. The carrier-variant entered service with the US Navy in February 2019. More than 760 have been manufactured since production began in 2006.
The US Navy's second America-class amphibious assault ship, USS Tripoli (LHA-7), returned to Naval Base San Diego in California - the vessel's home port - with its complement of Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning IIs on November 29, after completing its first operational deployment to the Indo-Pacific.
Almost all NATO aircraft operating over Poland are within range of Russian S-400 battalions stationed in Kaliningrad and Belarus. Babak Taghvaee details how the Green Mountain Boys’ first European deployment with the F-35 was designed to counter this threat
The RAAF has marked a major milestone in its operation of the F-35A Lightning II after aircraft from No 75 Squadron departed RAAF Base Tindal in Australia’s Northern Territory to Malaysia, where it completed the type's first international deployment (outside the US) in Australian service
Combat Aircraft Journal speak with the various air arms that took part in the RAF-led Exercise Cobra Warrior, a large force employment training event, held across the UK in September
NATO has been conducting its annual nuclear deterrence exercise called Steadfast Noon involving up to 60 aircraft from 14 countries
Plans to reopen De Peel Air Base for F-35A Lightning II operations from 2024 continue to make progress as the Dutch MOD strives to find room to expand its operational footprint following earlier base closures amidst the continued deterioration of the global security situation