Lockheed delivers F-35Bs

May 11, 2012 at 1:35 PM
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FORT WORTH, Texas, May 11 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin is continuing deliveries of F-35 Lightning II aircraft to the U.S. military, the latest ferried to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

The two F-35Bs were short takeoff/vertical landing variants and were delivered to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing's Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron 501.

The aircraft will be used by the squadron, which is hosted at Eglin by the Air Force's 33rd Fighter Wing, for pilot and maintenance training. The two planes are the 10th and 11h F-35s sent to the base, Lockheed Martin said.

In all, Lockheed Martin has now delivered to the Defense Department 25 of the next-generation combat planes, which feature advanced stealth capability, enhanced speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.

A 26th production F-35 STOVL variant of the aircraft will also make its way to Eglin Air Force Base later this month.

The U.S. Air Force plans to replace its A-10 and F-16 fleets with the F-35, while the Navy plans to use the aircraft as a replacement for its F/A-18s.The Marines will also use F-35 variants to replace F/A-18s and its AV-8B Harrier jets.

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