USAF chief visits Lockheed’s F-35 plant

Lockheed Martin has released this video of US Air Force Chief of Staff Gen Mark Welsh’s October 22 visit to the company’s Fort Worth, Texas, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter plant. The video also shows footage of recent weapons separation trials at Edwards AFB, California.

This here is actually the Navy’s F-35C… which I find to be the best looking of the JSF variants.

8083138382_e07f5345af_ov2.jpgArguably, it’s the least secure of the three variants. The USAF and US Marine Corps have pretty much bet the farm on the F-35A and F-35B respectively–the USN has options.

If worse comes to worst, i.e. sequestration, it’s not inconceivable that the Navy might ditch the F-35C and keep building Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, which are relatively cheap.  Moreover, there is little in the way of potential foreign sales for the C… Essentially, that makes the Navy the only user–granted the USMC is going to buy 80 C-models for carrier operations, albeit reluctantly. That makes it comparatively easy to push off the side of the deck, so to speak.

 

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