BAE Completes 50th F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for USMC

BAE Systems has completed production of the latest F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft for the United States Marine Corps—the 50th of its kind for the branch. Over the last decade, BAE has made approximately 200 F-35 aircrafts since production of the rear aft and tails for each jet began in 2004. BAE has taken a real sense of honor in being such a reliable producer of this aircraft for the US Marine Corps. “Reaching milestones like this gives the whole team a real sense of pride,” said Ryan Pearce, F-35 program former apprentice and production team leader. “We've delivered nearly 200 aircraft sets whilst at the same time constantly looking to improve the way we do things so that we deliver the quality and value that the program demands." BAE Systems teamed with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to deliver the F-35 Lightning II. It is the world’s largest defense program, which has a current requirement for over 3000 aircraft. BAE brings the expertise when it comes to the airframe, systems, and military and technical services. The F-35 Lightning II JSF is the world’s first and only fifth-generation supersonic, all-weather, stealthy, multi-role fighter. There are three variants of the F-35: the Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) variant, the Carrier Variant (CV), and the Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) version. Characteristics of the F-35A include:

  • Length: 50.5 ft (15.67 m)
  • Wingspan: 35 ft (10.7 m)
  • Height: 14.2 ft (4.33 m)
  • Wing area: 460 ft² (42.7 m²)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney F135 afterburning turbofan
  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.6+ (1,200 mph, 1,930 km/h) (tested to Mach 1.61)
  • Cruise speed: Mach 1.2 for 9.8 min
It also has a 4-barrel Gatling gun that is internally mounted with 180 rounds. It has the option of carrying multiple missiles and bombs.


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