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F-35 completes first night refuel mission

written by australianaviation.com.au | March 27, 2012
US Air Force test pilots have completed the first F-35 night refueling mission. (Lockheed Martin)
An F-35 Joint Strike Fighter rendezvous with a KC-135 tanker over Edwards Air Force Base in California. (Lockheed Martin)

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has ticked off another first, with US Air Force test pilots completing a night refuelling mission last week at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Test aircraft AF-4, an F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant, successfully rendezvoused with a KC-135 tanker during the three hour test mission, F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin said in a statement. Test missions with KC-10 tankers are also planned.

Lockheed has stepped up its public campaign to spruik the F-35 after the US this month announced plans to push back deliveries of the fighters, ostensibly due to ‘concurrency cost overruns.

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