Saturday, February 20, 2010

F-35 operational date re-evaluated

The Air Force is re-evaluating when the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be ready for service. That's what Air Combat Command chief Gen. William Fraser told reporters Friday at an Air Force Association-sponsored conference in Orlando, Fla. Fraser said the program restructuring announced Feb. 1 will extend the plane's system design and development phase until 2015, two years after the Air Force had planned to begin operating the aircraft. (Source: Defense News, 02/19/10) Meanwhile, a Lockheed Martin vice president said at the symposium that the U.S. Air Force officially becomes the first F-35 customer later this year when the first of the stealth fighters is delivered to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Steve O'Bryan, Lockheed Martin vice president of F-35 Business Development and Customer Engagement, said the first two production F-35s are in final assembly at Lockheed's plant in Fort Worth, Texas. The Air Force plans to operate 1,763 F-35As. (Source: PRNewswire, 02/19/10)