Swiss Give F-35 a Nod as it Passes 400,000 Hours in the Air

Over 625 F-35s of all variants have been produced so far. (Lockheed Martin Photo by Angel DelCueto Job Reference Number: FP20-08147 Salvo WMJ Reference Number: 20-08147 Customer: F-35 Communications; Tony Salvo Event: First Denmark F-35 (AP-1) Move from EMAS 1 to Soft Station Location: Fort Worth, Texas Date: 09-15-2020 Time: 1700 Public Release: Approved per JPO Document JSF20-906)

Lockheed-Martin announced this week that the global F-35 fleet has achieved 400,000 flight hours– including developmental test aircraft, training, operational, U.S., and international airframes.

“This milestone is a testament to the dedicated work of the joint government, military, and industry teams sustaining, maintaining, operating, and flying F-35s around the globe,” said Bridget Lauderdale, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program. “With every delivery and every flight hour, the enterprise gets more mature and effective and we are laser-focused on continuing to deliver the most capable, available, and affordable 5th Generation fighter aircraft.”

The announcement came at the same time the Swiss gave the F-35 a greenlight against stiff competition that included the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, and Eurofighter Typhoon for its $6.5 billion fighter program. The country, which currently flies 30 F-18C/D models, wants 36 F-35As before 2030 when the older Hornets are set to retire.

Get this, the reason the Lightning got the win in Bern was that the F-35A also has the lowest operating costs, over 30 years, of all of the candidates evaluated.

I hope, for the Swiss and everyone else that is using the F-35, those estimates hold up.

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