Lockheed Martin has held a ceremony at its Fort Worth plant on Friday to mark the completion of production of the 100th F-35 Lightning.
The milestone aircraft, F-35A AF-41, was presented to around 2,000 guests and Lockheed Martin staff at the end of a ceremony designed to highlight the program’s growing momentum.
“The 100th F-35 symbolises the maturation of the F-35 program by the collective government and industry partner team as we prepare to ramp up production,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin F-35 program general manager. “This is a proud day for the entire F-35 community.”
The milestone 100th aircraft was also significant in being the first aircraft due to be delivered to Luke Air Force Base Arizona. Luke will be the US Air Force’s main F-35 pilot training base, while a number of international F-35 customers will train their F-35 pilots at Luke, including, initially, Australia.
Of the 100 F-35s built to date 44 are F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) jets, 42 F-35B STOVL variants, and 14 F-35C carrier (CV) variants. Of those 88 are flying, and three have been delivered to the UK and two to the Netherlands. A further 90 are in various stages of construction.