LOCKHEED MARTIN has achieved another milestone in the Joint Strike Fighter programme with delivery of the US Air Force’s 100th F-35A Lightning II. The aircraft, 14-5099 ‘LF’ (AF-100), arrived at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, on August 26 from the factory in Fort Worth, Texas, to join the 56th Fighter Wing’s 62nd Fighter Squadron ‘Spikes’.
Brigadier Geneneral Brook Leonard, 56th Fighter Wing commander, said: “This marks a milestone and shows the fact that the F-35 programme has continued to grow, progress and support initial operational capability. It is also a ‘scare factor’ for our enemies that we are able to produce such an incredible platform at such a high production rate and that it’s getting out in the field in larger and larger numbers.”
As previously reported, Luke Air Force Base received its first F-35 in March 2014 and developed the training and tactics for the programme. The fleet has since grown to more than 40 F-35s at Luke, including those of partner nations Australia and Norway. The base also recently activated its third F-35 unit – the 63rd Fighter Squadron ‘Panthers’ – marking the halfway point for plans to build up toan eventual total of six squadrons at Luke.