Wed, Dec 23, 2009
Toured Production Line Where Carrier Variants Are Being
U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus (pictured) toured Lockheed
Martin's F-35 facility last week for a preview of the Department of
the Navy's first-ever stealth strike fighter. Secretary Mabus got a
firsthand look at BF-2, the second short takeoff/vertical landing
(STOVL) F-35B test aircraft, as it conducted its 15th flight in
final preparation for its ferry flight to Naval Air Station
Patuxent River, MD. BF-2 will join the first F-35B STOVL variant,
BF-1, at Patuxent River as the program prepares for the first
hovers and vertical landings.
"The Navy and the Marine Corps are vital F-35 customers, and the
F-35 is vital to the future of Naval Aviation," said Robert J.
Stevens, chairman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp. "We
were honored to host Secretary Mabus and his staff and confirm our
progress on F-35, which is the future of military aviation for the
U.S. and its allies."
During the visit, Secretary Mabus also received an F-35 program
update and toured the production line, where three F-35C carrier
variants, among more than 30 F-35s, are currently being built at
the Fort Worth facility.
The Department of the Navy is expected to purchase 680 F-35s for
both the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy. The STOVL variant will be
flown by the U.S. Marine Corps. The carrier variant (CV) will be
flown by the U.S. Navy.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining
advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully-fused sensor
information, network-enabled operations, and lower operational and
support costs. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its
principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.
Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development:
the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine
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