First F-35A with New Software Arrives at Schoolhouse

The first F-35A strike fighter equipped with the latest software configuration, Block 2A,arrived at Eglin AFB, Fla., home of the F-35 schoolhouse, according to Air Force and Lockheed Martin officials. This jet, said service officials, is the first F-35A that will allow pilots to train with the airplane’s Distributed Aperture System, a set of sensors situated around the platform that gives the pilot 360-degree situational awareness. The airplane touched down at Eglin on May 6. It joined nine other F-35As with the previous software build used for training by the 58th Fighter Squadron, reported the Northwest Florida Daily News. Other new capabilities that pilots will be able to exercise on the Block 2A jet are a weather tracker and an enhancement to the autonomic logistic information system, which transmits aircraft health and maintenance information to maintainers’ computers, states a May 9 Eglin report by Joel Fortner.