The delivery of the first operational-coded 5th Generation F-35A CTOL fighters to Nellis AFB marks the beginning of operational testing and evaluation at the base.
The first F-35B Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft, BF-3, has successfully completed an in-flight test with an AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile earlier this week.
The jets are assigned to the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron that executes Operational Test & Evaluation for the F-35.
To date, 24 CTOL aircraft have been delivered to the Air Force and 58 aircraft to the Department of Defense. By 2019, a total of 12 F-35As will be assigned to the base for testing and evaluation.