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F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a program with an international footprint unlike any other in history. In addition to the US, who is purchasing the jet for the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, there are eight partner nations with an industrial role producing parts for the program. Another three foreign military sales customers round out the map. Hover over each nation for information about its planned buy and what it brings to the F-35 program; click for the latest story.
  1. Airman 1st Class Reece Zoller, left, 58th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew one load crew member, operates an MJ-1 lift truck carrying an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile as Staff Sgt Zachary Watts, center, 58th AMU crew one crew chief, and Airman 1st Class Robert Hughes, right, 58th AMU crew one crew member, guide him during a qualification load Oct. 10 on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.. The F-35 training program at Eglin currently serves as the primary source of F-35 expertise to new F-35A units across the Air Force. Staff Sgt. Marleah Robertson/Air Force

    First Weapons Crew Certified on F-35A

    The latest milestone in the F-35A program belongs to airmen on the ground.

    • Oct. 23, 2014
  2. The F-35 joint program office (JPO) announced Tuesday evening that it has reached an agreement with engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney on two key milestones  identifying the root cause of an engine issue that caused a fire in June, and on a contract for the next lot of engines for the stealthy fighter. Air Force

    Pentagon, Pratt Cut Deal for F-35 Engines, Modifications

    The F-35 joint program office (JPO) announced Tuesday evening that it has reached an agreement with engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney on two key milestones identifying the root cause of an engine issue that caused a fire in June, and on a contract for

    • Oct. 15, 2014
  3. Sen. Carl Levin says political support for the F-35 remains strong.

    Despite Troubles, Veteran Senator Calls F-35's Political Support 'Fairly Strong'

    There are no political wolves moving to sink their teeth into the Pentagon's F-35 fighter program, despite a speckled past, says one veteran US senator.

    • Sep. 25, 2014
  4. The Pentagon intends to take two F-35C models, shown here doing catapult launch tests at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, in 2013, to carrier trials in November. Lockheed Martin

    F-35 'On Track' for Carrier Tests in November

    The F-35 joint strike fighter is on track to conduct trials aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier in November, but there are still variables as to what may be tested, the program's top official said today.

    • Sep. 25, 2014
  5. A new GAO report acknowledges attempts by the Pentagon to find ways to drive down sustainment costs of the F-35 joint strike fighter, but made it clear the agency disagrees with how the F-35 joint program office is moving forward on that issue. Lockheed Martin

    GAO Questions F-35 Sustainment Estimates

    Sustainment estimates for the F-35 joint strike fighter may not be realistic and require further study before a plan is finalized, the government's watchdog wrote in a new report.

    • Sep. 24, 2014
  6. Engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney believes it could begin retrofit fixes by November for the engine issue that caused an F-35A to catch fire this summer. Tom Reynolds/Lockheed Martin

    Pratt: F-35 Fix Could Begin Installation Before End of Year

    Engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney believes it could begin retrofit fixes by November for the engine issue that caused an F-35A to catch fire this summer.

    • Sep. 16, 2014
  7. Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, head of the F-35 joint program office, expects the program to be given priority under possible tight budgets ahead. Andy Morataya / US Air Force

    Bogdan: F-35 Likely Protected in Next Budget

    The F-35 joint strike fighter will likely be protected regardless of whether the Pentagon is operating under limits imposed by the Budget Control Act in fiscal 2016, the program's top official said Monday.

    • Sep. 15, 2014
  8. The F-35 joint strike fighter. Matthew Short / Lockheed Martin

    Column: Betting on the F-35

    The afternoon drive team on Washington's WTEM sports radio station has some advice for, ahem, sports fans: Keep betting on the Dallas Cowboys' opponents to cover the spread until one fails to.

    • Sep. 14, 2014
  9. The first multi-ship flight with all three F-35 variants on Nov.19. The US Air Force general in charge of the Joint Strike Fighter program is warning that there is a danger of missing deadlines if his test fleet of aircraft are not flying regularly by the end of September. Lockheed Martin

    F-35 Head: Delays Coming if Test Planes Grounded Through September

    The head of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is warning that there is a real danger of missing deadlines if his test fleet of aircraft are not flying regularly by the end of September.

    • Sep. 3, 2014
  10. Officials say an engine fix is near at hand for the F-35, following a June fire. Matthew Short / Lockheed Martin

    USAF Chief: Pratt Close To Developing F-35 Engine Fix

    Engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney is close to performing tests on a potential design change for its F135 engine following a June incident that led to the devastation of an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

    • Aug. 28, 2014
  11. The second production F-35 is flown during an airframe loads envelope expansion mission June 11. Tom Reynolds / Lockheed Martin

    Further Restrictions Lifted for F-35 Test Fleet; Army Awarded Contract

    The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter test fleet will be able to fly six hours between engine inspections for weapon test and refueling missions, as restrictions on the fifth-generation fighter continue to ease.

    • Aug. 13, 2014
  12. An F-35A from Edwards AFB, California, flies on Feb. 7. Lockheed Martin

    Top USAF Officials Defend F-35

    Despite ongoing restrictions on the fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the US Air Force's top general warned against being 'alarmist' when discussing the fifth-generation jet's engine.

    • Jul. 30, 2014
  13. The Pentagon has relaxed flight restrictions on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter fleet. Tom Reynolds / Lockheed Martin

    Some F-35 Flight Restrictions Lifted

    The Pentagon has lifted some flight restrictions on F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, while inspections will continue for the foreseeable future, according to a Defense Department official.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
  14. The flight deck crew secures an F-35B Lighting II aircraft aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) following testing. Commandant Gen. Jim Amos said a recent fire in an F-35A was probably a 'one-off' incident. US Navy

    USMC Commandant: F-35 Engine Fire a 'One-Off' Incident

    As the Pentagon announced it was un-grounding the F-35 fleet following an investigation into a June engine fire, the commandant of the US Marine Corps reiterated his support for the fighter program and said the mishap amounted to a fluke.

    • Jul. 15, 2014
  15. A Pentagon spokesman confirmed Tuesday that the F-35 would not be making the trip to the Farnborough Air Show. US Air Force

    It's Official: F-35 Not Flying To Farnborough

    The F-35 joint strike fighter will not be flying at the Farnborough International Airshow, to the disappointment of attendees, program supporters and partnered militaries.

    • Jul. 15, 2014
  16. A Pentagon official told Defense News that the F-35 fighter fleet has been cleared by air worthiness authorities. A decision on attending the show has not been made but the official said DoD is 'hopeful' it can make the trip.

    F-35 Cleared For Flight

    The F-35 might make it to Farnborough after all.

    • Jul. 15, 2014
  17. A backdrop is installed ahead of a press briefing on the Lockheed Martin F-35 at the Farnborough International Airshow on July 14. CARL COURT / AFP/Getty Images

    Pentagon: 'Growing Evidence' F-35 Incident Not Systemic

    Pentagon officials are increasingly confident that a fire that heavily damaged an F-35A joint strike fighter on June 23 was the result of an isolated issue and not a fleet-wide design flaw that will require redesign or replacement of parts.

    • Jul. 14, 2014
  18. A model of the F-35 on display at the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford, England. Aaron Mehta/staff

    As F-35 Remains Grounded, Hope Turns to Farnborough

    The F-35 joint strike fighter fleet remains grounded in the United States, meaning any hope of making it for the planned international debut at the Royal International Air Tattoo this weekend has now ended.

    • Jul. 12, 2014
  19. New Plan: US industry and military leaders have unveiled a plan to cut costs in the F-35 program through investments in research and development. From left to right: Bennett Croswell with Pratt & Whitney, Lorraine Martin with Lockheed Martin and Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan appear at the Royal International Air Tattoo in the UK. Aaron Mehta/staff

    F-35 Makers Chip in $170M to Shrink Costs

    The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) is trying anew to drive cost out of the plane, with industry partners agreeing to spend $170 million on internal research and development (IRAD).

    • Jul. 12, 2014
  20. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel greets Roberta Pinotti, Italian defense minister, prior to meetings at the Pentagon in Washington on June 27. SAUL LOEB / AFP/Getty Images

    Pinotti Presses Case for More Italian F-35 Work

    As the Pentagon prepares to pick a candidate by year's end to carry out airframe maintenance on Europe-based F-35 joint strike fighters, Italy's defense minister has said Cameri Air Base in northern Italy is the favorite.

    • Jul. 11, 2014
  21. Lightning Savings: A model of the F-35 on display at the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford, England. Aaron Mehta/staff

    Window Closing on F-35 Appearance at RIAT

    The F-35 joint strike fighter won't be appearing at Day 1 of the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) on Friday, but officials are holding out hope it could still appear over the weekend.

    • Jul. 10, 2014
  22. UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, Prime Minister David Cameron and Queen Elizabeth II attend the formal naming ceremony for the aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth on July 4. Hammond said he believes the F-35 will be cleared to fly at the Farnborough International Airshow next week. WPA Pool/Getty Images

    Hammond 'Optimistic' F-35 Will Fly at Farnborough

    Britain's Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is close to writing off the chances of the F-35B making an appearance at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in the UK, but said he is 'optimistic' the aircraft would make it to the Farnborough Internationa

    • Jul. 9, 2014
  23. Approval for US Marine Corps F-35B aircraft to appear at Farnborough may be easier than for UK-owned models. MICHAEL D. JACKSON/Joint Strike Fighter program

    US Marine F-35Bs Could Make Airshows, Even if UK Jets Do Not

    The F-35 joint strike fighter fleet remains grounded, even as the deadline to make two major British air shows quickly approaches.

    • Jul. 8, 2014
  24. The recent grounding of the F-35 fleet after an engine fire produced no calls for congressional action. US Air Force

    SASC Members Mostly Resigned to Latest F-35 Setback

    US Senate Armed Services Committee members on Tuesday reacted to the latest F-35 setback with more resignation than anger.

    • Jul. 8, 2014
  25. Inaugural Maneuver: A Royal Air Force pilot at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, lifts off in a US Marine F-35B for the first short-takeoff, vertical-landing sortie by a UK pilot. Samuel King/US Air Force

    All Eyes on F-35: Flying or Not, JSF Will Dominate Farnborough

    The F-35 joint strike fighter's international debut at Britain's largest air shows this month was intended to show the world that history's biggest defense program, one marked by delays and cost overruns, was on track and ready to attract more buyers.

    • Jul. 7, 2014
  26. The F-35 Joint Program Office has a new way to sustain the global fleet, such as this F-35B model. Lockheed Martin

    Global Competition Opens For F-35 Sustainment Deals

    The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) has begun carrying out a game-changing plan for sustainment on a global scale, one that relies heavily on competition to help drive down costs.

    • Jul. 6, 2014
  27. The F-35 on display at the Singapore Airshow in February. The Pentagon has grounded the entire fleet of F-35s, raising doubts that the aircraft will be able to fly at the Farnborough International Airshow this month. ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP/Getty Images

    DoD Grounds Entire F-35 Fleet; Plane Might Not Make UK Debut

    The European debut of the Lockheed Martin F-35 joint strike fighter is now in question after the Pentagon grounded the entire fleet late Thursday based on the initial findings of an investigation into a fire that broke out on one of the jets last month.

    • Jul. 3, 2014
  28. The first flight for the UK's first F-35, known as BK-1, took place on April 13, 2012. BK-1 is also the first international F-35. Lockheed Martin

    USMC F-35 Will Not Attend UK Carrier Ceremony

    The US Marine Corps will not be bringing an F-35B model to the naming ceremony of the HMS Queen Elizabeth in the United Kingdom, the service announced Thursday.

    • Jul. 3, 2014
  29. The Joint Strike Missile will be integrated onto the F-35 fighter. Kongsberg

    Kongsberg To Complete JSM Development

    Kongsberg has signed a deal with the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation to complete development of its Joint Strike Missile (JSM) and prepare the weapon for integration on Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning 11 aircraft.

    • Jul. 2, 2014
  30. Ambitions: Turkey plans on spending $16 billion for 100 F-35 joint strike fighters. Senior Airman Christopher Callaway/ / US Air Force

    Turkey Could Double Its Arms Budget

    Turkey, which has been spending around US $4 billion a year on weapons and upgrades, may double that to meet procurement goals for 2023.

    • Jun. 28, 2014
  31. A fuel panel is opened on an F-35A while another F-35 waits to be refueled at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Investigators are still examining the cause of a fire that damaged an F-35 here Monday. Samuel King / US Air Force

    USAF: F-35 Fire Will Not Ground Fleet

    The fire that broke out on an F-35A model Monday will not ground the fleet or alter plans to bring the Joint Strike Fighter to the UK, service officials said today.

    • Jun. 24, 2014
  32. The first F-35A Lightning II to land at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, arrives Sept. 13, 2013. Alex R. Lloyd / US Air Force

    F-35 Catches Fire on Takeoff at Eglin AFB

    A US Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter caught fire when attempting to take off from a Florida Air Force base Monday morning, Pentagon officials said.

    • Jun. 23, 2014
  33. A Pratt & Whitney F135 engine undergoes altitude testing at the Arnold Engineering Development Center. An engine issue forced the fleet to pause flying over the weekend. US Air Force

    Engine Issues Halt F-35 Flights Over Weekend

    Flights of the F-35 joint strike fighter were temporarily halted over the weekend in order to inspect an engine valve, the Pentagon said Monday.

    • Jun. 16, 2014
  34. The Pentagon is currently flying software block 2B on F-35 test fights, and is starting the process to load block 3I onto test flights. Alex R. Lloyd/US Air Force

    F-35 Stable, but Software Potential Long-Term Issue

    The F-35 program is largely on track, but software remains a concern that could lead to delays down the road, according to top Pentagon officials.

    • Jun. 13, 2014
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