Pentagon’s No.1 weapons supplier Lockheed Martin Corp. has delivered the 500th F-35 Lightning II stealth multirole combat aircraft.
According to the company, the 500th F-35A fighter jet has been delivered to the Green Mountain Boys at the Vermont Air National Guard.
“This delivery marks a significant milestone for the entire global F-35 fleet,” said in the company.
The F-35’s reliability continues to improve, and the global fleet is averaging greater than 65% mission capable rates, with operational squadrons consistently performing near 75%.
The F-35 enterprise continues to pursue 80% mission capable rates in the near term and reduce the F-35 Cost Per Flight Hour to $25,000 by 2025, which is equal to or less than the cost to sustain legacy, less capable aircraft.
To meet these goals, the enterprise is conducting supply chain competitions and building supply capacity, synchronizing spare buys, improving parts reliability and maintainability, implementing advanced analytics tools, accelerating modifications of earlier aircraft, and supporting the stand-up of government-led regional warehouses and repair depots.
More than 490 aircraft, including 134 in 2019, have been delivered and are operating from 21 bases around the globe. More than 975 pilots and 8,585 maintainers have been trained and the F-35 fleet has surpassed more than 240,000 cumulative flight hours.