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F-35 Expands Global Presence In 2021

Our Bureau - : Jan 6, 2022 - : 3:20 am

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program continued to expand its global footprint and enhance operational capabilities in 2021, with Switzerland and Finland selecting the aircraft for their new fighter jet programs. The company delivered 142 F-35s during the year.

Among the other highlights in 2021 were Denmark receiving its first F-35 and the Royal Netherlands Air Force becoming the ninth nation to declare their F-35 fleet ready for Initial Operational Capability.

Last year, the F-35 successfully participated in a series of flight tests and exercises, including Project Hydra, Northern Edge, Orange Flag, Talisman Sabre and Flight Test-6.

“The F-35 joint enterprise team continues to provide unmatched combat capability to the 21st century battlespace through the F-35,” said Bridget Lauderdale, vice president and general manager of the F-35 program. “Providing unparalleled support to the growing fleet, participating in numerous Joint-All Domain exercises and meeting our delivery target during a global pandemic is no small feat while the F-35 was also chosen by Switzerland and Finland as their next fighter.”

Some of the F-35A deployments and exercises demonstrated over 80% mission capable rates. As one of the most reliable aircraft in the U.S. fighter fleet, 93% of F-35 parts are performing better than predicted.

In the last year, F-35s were part of four base and ship activations and participated in more than 60 deployments and detachments, including the first U.S. Navy F-35C deployment aboard the USS Carl Vinson. During the first deployment of the Royal Navy’s flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group 2021, F-35Bs from the U.S. Marine Corps and Royal Air Force flew nearly 1,300 sorties, more than 2,200 hours and conducted 44 combat missions.


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