Lockheed Martin Corporation announced the preparation of a thousandth pilot for the fifth-generation fighter F-35 Lightning II, as well as nine thousand accompanying specialists to service this type of aircraft. This was reported by the press service of the corporation on Twitter.
According to the F-35 pilot training program, pilots and technical personnel from ten countries, including but not limited to the USA, Great Britain, Australia, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and South Korea, are being trained. The program, in addition to the usual academic studies, includes simulator training and fifth-generation fighter flights.
Recall that in early March of this year, the corporation announced the delivery of the 500th fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighter to the US Air Force. The fighter entered service with the 134th fighter squadron of the 158th fighter wing of the Air Force of the Vermont National Guard, based at Burlington Air Base. It was made for the US Air Force F-35A. Out of 500 F-35 aircraft manufactured and delivered, 35 aircraft belong to the F-354A modification, 35 aircraft to the F-108V modification, and 35 aircraft to the F-38C modification.
To date, the F-35 is in service with nine countries, while four operators of this aircraft used it in combat operations (the Air Force and the US Marine Corps, Israel, Great Britain). The total flying time of F-35 of all types reached 250 thousand hours.
Lockheed Martin noted that in 2019 the corporation built and delivered to customers 134 F-35 aircraft with a plan of 131 aircraft, in 2020 it is planned to supply 141 F-35 aircraft. In the future, it is planned to annually increase production of F-35 through 2023 inclusive.
In total, it is planned to produce more than four thousand F-35 Lightning II fighters of all modifications.