Dec 17, 2013
Lockheed Marks100th Production F-35
The one hundredth production F-35 Lightning II Strike Fighter was unveiled today.
The aircraft, AF-41, is the 41st F-35A Conventional Take Off & Landing variant for the US Air Force and will be the first to be delivered to the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., early in 2015. It will be used to train pilots from the United States and international partner nations.
Luke is set to become the largest F-35 base in the United States.
AF-41 is the first of 144 F-35s scheduled for delivery to Luke under an Air Force plan announced last June to increase the number of based squadrons to six, with training to begin in 2015. The number will include aircraft from international partners such as Australia, who will place two aircraft under the command of the 56th Fighter Wing in January 2015.
The 56th Fighter Wing will report to Air Education and Training Command, which also oversees F-35 training at the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Since the first F-35 was delivered to Eglin in March 2012, 43 US pilots have been trained and there are 17 aircraft on line, including two Dutch F-35As.