With both Finland and Switzerland selecting the F-35 for their new fighter jet programmes, Lockheed Martin has added two new countries to its global presence. Additionally, Denmark took delivery of its first F-35, while The Netherlands became the ninth nation to declare its fleet of F-35s ready for Initial Operation Capability.
The Finnish order, announced in December last year, was for 64 F-35A multi-role fighter jets at a list price of US$9.4 billion. Switzerland confirmed its choice of 36 F-35A multirole fighters in June 2021 at an estimated cost of US$5.5 billion.
The F-35’s operational performance remains strong with a number of F-35A deployments and exercises demonstrating in excess of 80% mission capable rates and the F-35 is one of the most reliable aircraft in the US fighter fleet. In 2021, F-35s were part of four base and ship activations and the fighter jet participated in more than 60 deployments and detachments, including the first US Navy F-35C deployment aboard the USS Carl Vinson.
During the first deployment of the Royal Navy’s flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group 2021, F-35Bs from the U.S. Marine Corps and Royal Air Force flew nearly 1,300 sorties, more than 2,200 hours and conducted 44 combat missions. Nine nations have F-35s operating from a base on their home soil, 12 services have declared Initial Operational Capability and six services have employed F-35s in combat. (£1.00 = US$1.35 at time of publication).Email Post to a Friend