US F-35 jets are set to be delivered to two US Air Force squadrons next month with the latest Block 3F software, which will enable pilots to use its full suite of war fighting capabilities.
The 34th Fighter Squadron at Utah’s Hill Air Force Base will receive the aircraft in early September and become the first fully operational F-35 squadron, Sputnik news reported Wednesday.
Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, which has the Air Force’s chief F-35 training squadron, will also get a shipment of the jets.
The 34th Fighter Squadron is expected to be stationed in the Pacific by the end of the year after receiving the fully functional F-35As.
The range of weaponry unlocked in the Block 3F Joint Strike Fighters includes precision-guided Small Diameter Bomb 1s from Boeing and other air-to-ground weapons, along with short-range AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.
The aircraft’s data link capabilities, targeting systems and situational awareness should also be improved by the updated software. The Defense Department expects there to be more than 100 F-35s in the Pacific theater by the early 2020s.
The modernization coincides with the Air Force’s ongoing discussion of whether to send F-35 squadrons to counter North Korea’s nuclear program.
South Korea doesn’t have air or ground-based assets capable of contending with the F-35, so the fighters could prove invaluable for Washington and its allies. South Korea and Japan would be flying the aircraft in the Pacific along with the US Marine Corps and Air Force.
The F-35B squadron based at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan has only achieved initial operating capability and are using an earlier version of the software package.
US Edwards Air Force Base in California is housing the fully F-35As as the F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin wrap up the aircraft’s final testing.
Israel Defense Ministry has completed the acquisition process of an additional 17 F-35 stealth jets. The initial decision to purchase the 17 additional F-35 fighters was made by the security cabinet in November 2016, but it took an additional nine months to settle out the agreement with the United States and Lockheed Martin, various media reported Monday
Israeli Air Force F-35I ‘Adir fighter aircraft is undergoing a series of aerial refueling tests at Tel-Nof air force base attached to 140 Squadron, also known as the Golden Eagle Squadron. The experiments – performed in collaboration with the "Desert Giants" Squadron from Nevatim AFB – will enable the stealth fighter to be refueled in the air by the "Re'em" (Boeing 707) aircraft, Israels air force said in a press release Sunday
Lockheed Martin has announced a job fair to be conducted on August 29 seeking about 1000 skilled people for F-35 Lightning II fighter production at its Fort Worth plant, Texas. The US Firm said it hopes to issue 800 to 1,000 letters of intent that same day out of an expected 2,000 applicants
The rolling off of 318th rear section for an F-35 Lightning II combat jet from the Samlesbury, Lancashire production line completes 10 per cent of the global requirement production. The aft fuselage is the back part of the aircrafts main body
A US Air Force F-35 fighter jet will be undergoing cold weather testing to ensure the fifth generation multi-role fighter aircraft performs optimally in harsh weather conditions at the Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, according to the air force press release. The F-35A Lightning II that arrived on October 13 was the first to land at the base near Fairbanks
The senior leaders of the United States Air Force discussed alternative methods of aviator training and requirement initiatives to address shortage of over 1500 pilots in its aircrew units that has left Americas aerial warfighting branch scrambling to find a way to stop decline in skilled aviators. The 2017 Aircrew Summit held on September 22 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, had air force senior leaders from the headquarters, major commands and other experts discussed strategies, plans and initiatives falling under the ACTFs seven lines of effort: requirements, accessions, production, absorption, retention, sortie production and industry collaboration
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