Four More F-35s Delivered

The Defense Department now possesses more operational-coded F-35 strike fighters than test aircraft, announced manufacturer Lockheed Martin on July 10. That’s due to the delivery of four F-35s since June 29 that brought the fleet size to 16 operational airplanes and 14 test aircraft, according to the company’s release. Of the four new jets, three are Air Force F-35A variants and one is a Marine Corps F-35B model. All four are being assigned to units at Eglin AFB, Fla., home of the initial joint F-35 schoolhouse, for use in pilot and maintainer training, states the release. According to Orlando Carvalho, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 general manager, these deliveries signify an important step. “We’re increasingly becoming more operationally focused. These deliveries illustrate the program’s natural progression and maturation that is taking place on a daily basis,” he said.