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LATEST NEWS

 

AUSTRALIA’S FIRST F-35A ARRIVES AT LUKE AIR FORCE BASE 
Luke Air Force Base
December 18, 2014


The first Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Lightning II jet arrived at Luke Air Force
Base Dec. 18, 2014. The jet’s arrival marks the first international partner F-35A to
arrive for training at Luke. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Staci Miller)

 

The first Australian F-35A Lightning II jet arrived at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. today, where it will be used for pilot training beginning in 2015.  The arrival brings the number of F-35s assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing to 18.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Todd “Torch” LaFortune piloted the aircraft, known as AU-2, on its 90-minute ferry flight from the Lockheed Martin’s F-35 production facility in Fort Worth, Texas. 

"Today, we take another tremendous step forward in our transition to the F-35 here at Luke," said Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander. "Australia is the first of 10 nations that will not only become part of the Luke community, but will share in calling the West Valley a home away from home."

The arrival of AU-2 marks the latest milestone in delivering the F-35 to the Royal Australian Air Force. AU-1, Australia’s second F-35A, is scheduled to arrive at Luke Air Force Base in the next few days. The F-35 provides Australia a transformational 5th generation fighter capability. The program also provides significant benefits to the Australian aerospace industry with more than $432 million (USD) under contract with suppliers. 

 

F-35 Joint Program Office, Pratt & Whitney Conclude Engine Investigation, Agree to Contract for Eighth Lot of F135 Engines
October 30, 2014

The U.S. Department of Defense awarded Pratt & Whitney a modification to a previously awarded contract for the eighth lot of F135 propulsion systems to power F-35 Lightning II aircraft. Today's announcement for $793 million raises the total contract value to $1.052 billion.  Previous awards, valued at $259 million, were given for long lead items and sustainment.

The low rate initial production (LRIP) contract for the eighth lot will deliver 48 total engines. The contract also includes program management, engineering support, and spare modules. Average prices for the conventional takeoff and landing and carrier variant (CTOL/CV) and short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant engines were reduced roughly 3.5 to 4.5 percent respectively from LRIP 7 to LRIP 8.

"Pratt & Whitney continues to keep their commitment to lower costs for the F135 propulsion system," said Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 program executive officer. "The government has negotiated a price reduction for every lot of engines, and the latest LRIP 7 and 8 contracts have demonstrated Pratt & Whitney's commitment to the plan."

Contract Awarded on Seventh Lot of F135 Engines
F-35 Joint Program Office and Pratt & Whitney Media Announcement
Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The U.S. Department of Defense awarded Pratt & Whitney a contract for the seventh lot of F135 propulsion systems to power F-35 Lightning II aircraft. Today's contract announcement for $592 million raises the total procurement contract value to $680 million. In December 2013, a $263 million sustainment contract was previously awarded bringing the total LRIP 7 propulsion cost to $943 million.
The low rate initial production (LRIP) contract for the seventh lot will deliver 36 total engines. The contract also includes program management, engineering support and spare modules. The contract also includes Pratt & Whitney's commitment to cover the cost of corrective actions for previously delivered propulsion systems and modules to correct the third stage fan blade failure. Both parties anticipate a follow on LRIP 8 contract for 48 engines to be awarded in the near future.

Green Knights Lead the Way With F-35B
MCAS Miramar
September 30, 2014

The U.S. Marine Corps news network recently visited Yuma and compiled this report on the progress of VMFA-121, the “Green Knights,” as they prepare for Initial Operational Capability in July 2015. 

Australia’s First F-35A Takes to the Skies
Lockheed Martin
September 30, 2014

Photo credit: Lockheed Martin

Australia’s first Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, made its inaugural flight on Sept. 29, marking another significant milestone for the Royal Australian Air Force’s F-35 program.  Lockheed Martin F-35 Chief Test Pilot Alan Norman, piloted the aircraft through a series of functional checks for the sortie that lasted two hours.

The aircraft, known as AU-1, is scheduled for delivery to the Royal Australian Air Force later this year and will be assigned to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. Australia and partner countries will use the jet for F-35A pilot training.

The F-35 Lightning II aircraft provides the Royal Australian Air Force with a transformational 5th generation fighter capability and significant benefits for the Australian aerospace industry. Australian industry already has more than $412 million (USD) contracted.

View Video: http://vimeo.com/aeronauticsmm/review/107533185/1aff29bca0


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F135 Progress To Date:

Production Engines Delivered: 145
Total Flight Hours: 7278

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