About Navy version of F-35 clear for production
|June 30th, 2007||#1|
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Navy version of F-35 clear for production info
FORT WORTH, Texas, June 28 (UPI) -- All three versions of the U.S. Joint Strike Fighter have now cleared the final milestone needed before entering the production phase. The carrier version of the cutting-edge F-35 recently passed its Air System Critical Design Review, putting it on track for Low Rate Initial Production.
The conventional and short-takeoff, vertical landing variants of the plane passed the CDR earlier and have been approved for LRIP.
"The die is now fully cast for the unique, three-variant Joint Strike Fighter program envisioned when the planning began in the late 1990s," said Air Force Brig. Gen. C.R. Davis, the JSF Program Executive Officer.
Lockheed Martin said in a statement Thursday that the naval variant, designated the F-35C, had an extra 200 pounds shaved off its design prior to the CDR.
The F-35C will be the Navy's first stealthy plane and will eventually replace the F/A-18 Hornet and fly alongside the newer F/A-18E/F Super Hornet as the main combat assets of U.S. naval aviation. The F-35A is the conventional version for the Air Force and will supplant the F-16 and A-10 attack planes beginning in 2010 while the F-35B will replace the Harrier jets flown by the U.S. Marines and the British military.
Lockheed is also eyeing major foreign markets for the JSF.
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