Lockheed Martin delivered 134 examples of its F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter in 2019 to the US military services, international development partners and Foreign Military Sales customers.
The total was three more than the 131 aircraft it expected to deliver in 2019, the company said on 30 December 2019.
The delivery total is an about 47% increase from the year before and 103% increase from 2017.
Lockheed Martin is aiming to only slightly increase the number of F-35s it delivers in 2020 to 141 examples. The F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing variant is contracted to fall to its lowest price this year at $77.9 million per aircraft.
The company plans to continue yearly delivery increases until it hits peak production in 2023 when it aims to delivery more than 170 units.
In 2019, deliveries included 81 F-35s for the US military services, 30 for international partner nations in the Joint Strike Fighter programme and 23 for Foreign Military Sales customers, says Lockheed Martin.
Lockheed Martin says there are now more than 490 F-35 aircraft operating from 21 bases around the world. Eight countries have F-35s operating from a base on their home soil and eight military services have declared Initial Operating Capability for the aircraft. The Israeli Air Force, US Air Force, US Marine Corps and Royal Air Force have each used the stealth fighter in combat operations.
The company adds that 975 pilots and 8,585 maintainers have been trained on the aircraft. The worldwide F-35 fleet has accumulated more than 240,000 flight hours since the first aircraft was delivered in 2011.