The Lockheed Martin-built F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft fleet has surpassed 100,000 flight hours as the company works to complete the program’s system development and demonstration phase.
Lockheed said Monday the remaining F-35 development flight tests include the validation of the final Block 3F software release; F-35B ski jump demonstrations and austere site operations; high-Mach Loads tests for F-35B and F-35C aircraft variants; and completion of weapons delivery accuracy tests.
Jeff Babione, Lockheed executive vice president and F-35 program general manager, said the flight hour milestone reflects the level of maturity of the F-35 program and weapons system.
He added that Lockheed is slated to “complete air vehicle full 3F and mission systems software development by the end of 2017.”
Lockheed has wrapped up tests for the F-35A’s final envelope as well as weapons delivery accuracy tests for the AIM-132 advanced short range air-to-air missiles and Paveway IV precision-guided bombs of U.K.’s F-35s, as part of the SDD phase.
The company has also completed 45 of 50 SDD weapon delivery accuracy tests and performed multi-ship mission effectiveness tests.