The F-35 program delivered all 45 of the fighters it was supposed to deliver in 2015, reprising its 2014 performance, when it delivered all 36 of the jets planned in that year, the Joint Strike Fighter System Program Office announced Monday. This represents a 25-?percent production increase in one year, the SPO noted. “Meeting aircraft production goals is a critical stepping stone in demonstrating the program is ready for the expected significant ramp-up” in the coming years, program executive officer Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan said in the statement. Lockheed Martin program manager Lorraine Martin called the milestone a “clear demonstration of our growing maturity and stability.” The 45 jets delivered in 2015 included 26 F-35As for the Air Force; eight F-35Bs for the Marine Corps; eight F-35Cs for the Navy/Marine Corps; the first two F-35As for the Royal Norwegian Air Force; and one F-35A for the Italian Air Force. Of the F-35As, 17 (including the international jets) went to Luke AFB, Ariz., where operational training is performed; the rest went to Eglin AFB, Fla., where initial training is conducted; Hill AFB, Utah—where initial operational capability is expected in August of 2016—and Nellis AFB, Nev., which conducts operational test and evaluation. More than 150 production F-35s of all variants have been delivered, having accumulated more than 45,000 flight hours, states the release.
Robins Air Force Base, Ga., has completed two environmental reviews, clearing the way for new construction to support the bases four new missions sets, which will replace the E-8 Joint STARS mission that has defined the base for decades.