Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II fighter, America’s priciest weapons system, recently exceeded 100,000 flight hours, according to a statement from the Pentagon’s top weapons supplier.
“This 100K milestone marks a significant level of maturity for the program and the F-35 weapons system,” said Lockheed Martin Executive Vice President and F-35 Program General Manager Jeff Babione in a statement. “We are well positioned to complete air vehicle full 3F and mission systems software development by the end of 2017.”
Meanwhile, the F-35 has a series of more tests ahead of its march to combat readiness.
The remaining tests include: validating the final release of the aircraft’s 3F software, F35B ski jump testing, F-35B austere site operations, high-Mach Loads testing for both the F-35B and F-35C and completion of the remaining weapons delivery accuracy tests.
The U.S. Marine Corps was the first service branch to declare Initial Operational Capability (IOC) of their variant in July 2015. Following the Marines, the U.S. Air Force attained IOC in August 2016. The U.S. Navy is slated to declare IOC in 2019