[Aviation Today, April 16] Lockheed Martin
’s F-35 Lightning 2 fleet recently reached 15,000 flight hours. The F-35 is a fifth generation fighter that combines advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least 10 other countries. The Marine Corps plans to declare Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the program in 2015, while the Air Force and Navy plan to declare IOC in 2016 and 2018, respectively.