Lockheed Martin
F-35 fighter aircraft

500th F-35 Fighter Jet Delivered to Air Force

March 11, 2020
The 500th F-35 fighter aircraft was built for the U. S. Air Force for recent delivery to the Air National Guard in Burlington, Vt.

The F-35 Joint Program Office and prime contractor Lockheed Martin recently recorded a historic milestone for the single-seat, single-engine fighter jet: Delivery of the 500th production F-35 fighter aircraft to the Burlington, Vt. Air National Guard Base. The jet is a U.S. Air Force F-35A with full complement of radar and electronic-warfare (EW) systems. The 500 aircraft include numerous variations for different types of missions, for U.S. and international customers alike: 354 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) fighters, 108 F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) fighters, and 38 F-35C carrier variant (CV) aircraft. The 500 F-35 variants have amassed a total of 250,000 flight hours, including training and developmental test jets.

“These milestones are a testament to the talent and dedication of the joint government, military and industry teams,” said Greg Ulmer, vice-president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program. “The F-35 is delivering an unprecedented 5th Generation combat capability to the warfighter at the cost of a 4th Generation legacy aircraft.”

The F-35 is the result of design and production teamwork by leading U.S. and international manufacturers. For example, while Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems contribute the design and construction of center and aft fuselages, respectively, along with expertise on advanced electronic tactical systems. The F135 propulsion system that powers the F-35 is built by Pratt & Whitney and is the world’s most powerful fighter engine. The F-35 operates from 23 bases worldwide. More than 985 pilots are trained to fly and over 8,890 engineers/technicians are trained to maintain the aircraft.

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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