F-35 Program Delivers 142 Aircraft in 2021

  • Our Bureau
  • 09:29 AM, January 4, 2022
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F-35 Program Delivers 142 Aircraft in 2021
RNAF F-35A fighter

Lockheed Martin and partners have handed over 142 F-35 fighters to the United States military and its allies in 2021.

In 2021, two new countries – Switzerland and Finland – selected the F-35 for their new fighter jet programs. Additionally, Denmark received its first F-35 and the Royal Netherlands Air Force became the ninth nation to declare their F-35 fleet ready for Initial Operational Capability. The F-35's operational capabilities continued to advance and further demonstrated its value as the most advanced node in the 21st century battlespace. Last year alone, 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's operational performance remains strong. 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.

More than 750 F-35 aircraft are operating from 30 bases and ships around the globe. Over 1,585 pilots and 11,545 maintainers are trained, and the F-35 fleet has flown nearly 470,000 cumulative flight hours. Nine nations have F-35s operating from a base on their home soil, 12 services have declared Initial Operational Capability and six services have employed F-35s in combat.

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