Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lockheed Martin's F-35 Seems Inevitable

May 18, 2011 - The U.S. military hopes to eventually get at least 2,400 of the controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets. It's been controversial (as are most big military orders). The program is estimated at around $328 billion and is intended to replace several other fighters in use by the military. One of the main "selling points" of the F-35 is its ability to take off and land vertically, thereby making it independent of any runway. The F-35 program, a decade old, has suffered from budget woes and political delays. The fighter seems to have overcome most objections and it now appears inevitable that the F-35 will become a staple in the arsenals of the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. According to Lockheed Martin, Canada decided to go with the F-35 last July. "The Government of Canada ... announced plans to acquire the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II as the country’s next-generation fighter aircraft," says a Lockheed Martin press release. "The F-35 will replace Canada’s fleet of CF-18 Hornets that entered service in the early 1980s." PATUXENT RIVER, Md. - Test aircraft for the carrier variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter have exceeded test and evaluation program goals this year. As of May 11, F-35C test aircraft CF-1 currently at Naval Air Station Patuxent River has completed 36 test flights, nearly half of the program’s goal for the year of 85. More at
(photo: Lockheed Martin)