ENP Newswire - 14 January 2013
Release date- 01112013 - FORT WORTH, Texas - The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Program completed 30 aircraft deliveries and achieved significant advances in flight test highlighting a year of continued progress for 2012.
The 30 F-35 deliveries in 2012 included 11 Conventional Takeoff and Landing (CTOLs), 18 Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL) variants, and one Carrier Variant (CV). Two of the STOVLs were the program's first two international jets, which were delivered to the United Kingdom. All but the carrier variant, known as CF-5, were production aircraft delivered to various bases for operational purposes. CF-5 was built for flight testing and delivered to the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) program. The 30 aircraft delivered in 2012 is more than double the 13 aircraft delivered in 2011.
The 2012 flight test plan called for 988 flights and 8,458 test points by Dec 31. For the year, the SDD program flew 1,167 flights and tallied 9,319 test points. The F-35A Flight Science test aircraft flew 291 flights and accomplished 2,573 test points. The F-35B Flight Science test aircraft accomplished 396 flights and 2,443 test points. The F-35C flew 239 flights and tallied 2,247 test points. The Mission Systems test aircraft accomplished 241 flights and 2,056 test points. The F-35B also executed 102 vertical landings.
The cumulative 2012 milestones were achieved through a combination of planned test flights and test points, along with test flights and test points added throughout the year. The flight test program is now more than one third complete in aggregate with the Air Force's F-35A variant leading the way with 43 percent complete.
'We are completing our third year of on-plan system development performance since the F-35 Program Executive Office completed its Technical Baseline Review in 2010,' said Orlando Carvalho, Lockheed Martin F-35 program executive vice president and general manager. 'We fully expect this to continue in 2013 as we begin flight test of the Block 2B mission system software which will ultimately provide the initial war-fighting capability the Marines need for their initial operational capability. This successful system development progress, a maturing production line and further operational base stand up are all strong indicators of the F-35 program's positive trajectory.'