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F35 arrives at Eglin  (Source: Lockheed Martin)
Lockheed Martin finally delivers F-35 JSF aircraft to Eglin AFB

Lockheed Martin made an important stride towards proving the financial burden of its F-35 program is worthwhile, when it recently delivered a production jet at Eglin Air Force Base. The private contractor believes the F-35 will help modernize the U.S. military, and help allies keep their airspace safe (for a hefty price). 

The F-35 model Eglin took delivery of was the F-35 Lightning II model, and the jet requires a traditional takeoff and landing. Eglin first expected to receive the fighter in November, but design and engineering issues forced a delay until July.

"We're incredibly proud of our government/industry team whose steadfast dedication to this program led to the successful delivery of AF-9 today,” noted Larry Lawson, Lockheed Martin F-35 program manager. "The exceptional capabilities of this 5th generation fighter are now in the very capable hands of the men and women of the 33rd Fighter Wing who are ushering in a new era of F-35 training. We look forward to delivering our full complement of F-35s to the Emerald Coast in the months and years ahead.”

The F-35's introduction at Eglin AFB has led to excitement in the region, with base officials anxiously waiting since late 2009. 

Even though Eglin personnel had to wait longer than expected, preparation work continued in simulators and in classrooms. Flight operators are now trying to figure out how to split up flight and training time among an anxious staff hoping to jump into the cockpit and have wrench time with the aircraft.

The F-35 Lightning II and other variations of the pricey fighter jet will be utilized by the Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, and several other allied nations.

Despite being a program with extremely high hopes, the F-35 has endured a bumpy road as budget issues and continued delays plague the military. Lockheed recently told the Senate Armed Services Committee that some models will cost a whopping $771 million per aircraft -- with a $264M down payment requested to the Pentagon.

To make matters worse, necessary F-22 upgrades also are overbudget, and U.S. lawmakers are growing tired of Lockheed Martin's development issues.



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RE: $771 million my ass
By Reclaimer77 on 7/16/2011 2:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
What's ugly is that the F-35 sacrifices everything that makes a good fighter (range, speed, armaments, maneuverability) for the supposed 5'th Generation stealth advantage, when in fact, it's not as stealthy as the F-22 and it's "advantage" is nearly negated by more advanced detection systems.


RE: $771 million my ass
By Jeffk464 on 7/16/2011 8:14:03 PM , Rating: 2
That's why I said "fighter" its basically an attack plane that can fire air to air if need be.


RE: $771 million my ass
By Mudhen6 on 7/18/2011 9:15:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What's ugly is that the F-35 sacrifices everything that makes a good fighter (range, speed, armaments, maneuverability) for the supposed 5'th Generation stealth advantage, when in fact, it's not as stealthy as the F-22 and it's "advantage" is nearly negated by more advanced detection systems.


Citation that is not AusAirPower.net?


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