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NEW DAS Expected to Save $3 Billion in F-35 Sustainment Costs

Lockheed Martin selected Raytheon to develop and deliver the next generation Distributed Aperture System (DAS) for the F-35 fighter jet. The Raytheon-built DAS will be integrated into F-35 aircraft starting with Lot 15 aircraft, expected to begin deliveries in 2023 and is expected to save to more than $3 billion over the life cycle of the program.

F-35 Need $1.4 Billion for Urgent Fixes. Who Pays the bill?

In 2019, DOD will decide whether to enter full-rate production for the F-35 aircraft. From the next year onwards, the Pentagon plans to invest about $10 billion annually for two decades acquiring F-35s - the most expensive and ambitious weapon acquisition program in U.S. military history. By the time the program moves into full-rate production, 500 aircraft will be procured and will need fixes and resolving deficiencies found during the testing. Bringing those aircraft to full capability could cost $1.4 billion. The F35 program office will hold a summit later this year to determine who will be responsible for the costs associated with resolving the remaining deficiencies.

F-35 Program Met 2017 Goal with 66 Aircraft Delivered

On Friday, December 15, Lockheed Martin delivered the 66th F-35 aircraft for the year, meeting the joint government and industry delivery target for 2017. The delivery rate in 2017 represents more than a 40 percent increase from 2016, and the F-35 enterprise is prepared to increase production volume year-over-year to hit full rate of approximately 160 aircraft in 2023. As production ramps and additional improvements are implemented, Lockheed Martin's goal is to reduce the cost of an F-35A to $80 million by 2020.

Raytheon completes first lot production of Small Diameter Bomb II

As the SDB II program is nearing completion of developmental testing Raytheon has completed the first production lot of the Small Diameter Bomb II (designated GBU-53/B) at its fully-automated manufacturing facility in Tucson, Arizona.

Israel’s F-35I Declared Combat Ready

The Israel Air Force declared its F-35I unit operational today, following the year-long initial operational capability qualification of 140 Squadron ('Golden Eagle') the first IAF unit operating the Fifth Generation fighter (dubbed 'Adir' by the IAF). By the summer of 2018, the squadron is expected to receive six more fighters.

British F-35B to Carry Meteor Missiles from 2024

The United Kingdom is preparing its F-35 Lightning II to carry and operate the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) as its principal long-range air/air weapon.

US Air Force F-35A Deploy to Europe

The Air Force will deploy a small number of F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft this weekend on a long-planned training deployment to Europe, Pentagon officials announced today.

Autonomous Strike – a New Milestone in Manned-Unmanned Teaming

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works and the US Air Force successfully demonstrated the teaming of manned and unmanned aircraft in combat missions as part of the Air Force's "Loyal wingman" concept

Marine Corps Deploy F-35B to Japan

The first F-35B Lightning II aircraft, belonging to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, Marine Aircraft Group 12, arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni today (January 18, 2017) beginning the squadron’s permanent basing at the air station.

A Gunslinger with Bad Eyesight?

Continued delays in the completion of the third and final developmental software block (Block 3f) of the F-35 is likely to push back the...

New Wings for the Italian Air Force

In the past week, Italy received several brand new aircraft - two Italian-assembled F-35 and the first of two G550 Airborne Early Warning aircraft that will take its air force to new heights.

F-35 Thermal Scan Highlights New Stealth Features

FLIR Systems published today a short video depicting the F-35 Lightning II 5th Generation fighter during its flight display at the recent Farnborough Airshow...

US Air Combat Command Declares F-35A ‘Combat Ready’

The F-35A Lightning II fifth generation fighter aircraft was declared ‘combat ready’ today by Gen. Hawk Carlisle, the commander of Air Combat Command. The 34th Fighter Squadron of the 388th Fighter Wing, based at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the service’s first operational F-35A squadron, having met all the established criteria for Initial Operational Capability

First Israeli F-35 ‘Adir’ is Airborne

The first F-35 bound to Israel made its maiden flight June 25 from Fort Worth, Texas, flown by Lockheed Martin's test pilot. The aircraft will now conduct a series of flight tests to confirm its airworthiness.