On July 5, 2023, the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) of the U.S. Department of Defense, in collaboration with Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), disclosed their latest briefing for July, unveiling impressive statistics about the F-35 aircraft.

The global fleet of F-35s has now surpassed 945, accumulating an astonishing 691,000 flight hours. Notably, this has resulted in the training of 2,070 skilled pilots and 14,525 dedicated service personnel.

Reaching New Heights: F-35 Fleet Hits 945 Aircraft with 691,000 Cumulative Flight Hours

Throughout the 691,000 hours of flight, the F-35s worldwide have undertaken a remarkable 412,800 sorties, with each flight averaging 1 hour and 42 minutes. Additionally, every detachment has successfully executed 422 deployment or actual combat missions, showcasing the versatility and effectiveness of the F-35 aircraft.

As of July 2023, a total of 8 militaries are actively employing the F-35 in real combat environments. These include the Israeli Air Force, United States Marine Corps, United States Air Force, Royal Air Force, Italian Air Force, Norwegian Air Force, United States Navy, and Netherlands Air Force. The global reach of this advanced fighter jet is evident as it continues to serve multiple nations across the globe.

Remarkably, twelve armed forces have achieved Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for the F-35: United States Marine Corps, United States Air Force, Israeli Air Force, Royal Air Force, Italian Air Force, United States Navy, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, Norwegian Air Force, Royal Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Korea Air Force, and Netherlands Air Force. This signifies the aircraft’s growing acceptance and integration into the military operations of various countries.

Furthermore, the F-35 is actively operated within nine countries on their home soil, further consolidating its prominence in international defense capabilities. These countries include the U.S., UK, Israel, Italy, Australia, Norway, Netherlands, Japan, and South Korea.

In early June, recent noteworthy events include the Norwegian Air Force F-35As intercepting two Russian military aircraft over the western Barents Sea. Additionally, in mid-June, joint live-fire exercises were conducted by the F-35A of the South Korean Air Force and the U.S. military, emphasizing cooperation between nations.

Further showcasing the F-35’s long-range capabilities, four F-35Cs of the US Marine Corps flew over 7,800 miles across the Pacific Ocean to Australia for the “Alliance Partner” training exercise. Moreover, in the same month, the F-35B of the US Marine Corps participated in joint training with the F-2 and F-15J of the Japanese Air Force over the Sea of Japan.

Reaching New Heights: F-35 Fleet Hits 945 Aircraft with 691,000 Cumulative Flight Hours

In late June, F-35s from the United States, Britain, and the Netherlands participated in NATO’s largest-ever air force exercise, demonstrating its integral role in multinational defense strategies.

Additional data reveals that the F-35 has established 39 deployment bases worldwide, including 29 land bases. These bases are strategically located across different regions, ensuring the F-35’s global accessibility. The countries hosting land bases are the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway, Italy, South Korea, Japan, and Australia, each contributing to the aircraft’s operational effectiveness.

Moreover, the F-35 is also equipped to operate from offshore mobile platforms, including various aircraft carriers and U.S. amphibious assault ships. These platforms enable enhanced mobility and operational flexibility in different maritime regions.
The manufacturing and unit flight costs of the F-35 have also shown remarkable improvements.

The cost of the 12th/13th/14th batch is 12.8% lower than that of the 11th batch, with the manufacturing cost of Type A falling below $80 million and Type C below $100 million. The unit flight cost has been significantly reduced, with an anticipated 40% further reduction by 2025, aiming to make the F-35 more affordable to operate.

Beyond its military significance, the F-35 project has made substantial economic contributions. With over 1,650 global high-tech suppliers, the project has generated 298,000 advanced manufacturing jobs worldwide, supporting innovation and skilled labor in multiple economies.

Reaching New Heights: F-35 Fleet Hits 945 Aircraft with 691,000 Cumulative Flight Hours

Presently, 111 F-35s are on the final assembly line, with three main assembly plants located in Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Cameri, Italy; and Nagoya, Japan. These plants are responsible for most of the F-35’s production, ensuring this cutting-edge fighter jet’s sustained growth and availability.

In conclusion, the F-35’s remarkable fleet size, flight time, and global presence make it a pivotal force in modern military aviation. Its continuous improvement in manufacturing costs, unit flight costs, and economic contributions further solidifies its position as a crucial asset in the defense capabilities of nations worldwide.