HILL AFB, Utah --- The Ogden Air Logistics Complex accomplished another "first" in support of the F-35 Lightning II program.
A U.S. Navy F-35C – carrier variant – was delivered to Edwards AFB, Calif., on March 13, making the Ogden ALC the first maintenance depot to receive, modify and deliver all three F-35 variants.
The aircraft arrived at Hill AFB in April 2016 from Eglin AFB, Fla., and over the past 10 months underwent required structural modifications to remove and replace life limiting parts and other upgrades. < (Emphasis added—Ed.)
The aircraft was originally assigned to the “Grim Reapers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101 at Eglin AFB. While at Hill AFB the aircraft was transferred to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron NINE Detachment Edwards to participate in the F-35C testing and evaluation program.
Ogden ALC officials credited teamwork with Lockheed-Martin and the Joint Program Office for the successful delivery. The Ogden ALC is expected to deliver two additional aircraft back to the Navy later this month.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Given that the F-35C was first delivered in June 2013, and that it has not even reached its Initial Operational Capability, it is worth noting that it already needs to replace “life limiting parts” as part of its wider upgrade.
In fact, F-35s are delivered to the customer with many defects and sub-standard components, and require a major upgrade – in this case, fully 11 months for a single aircraft – before they are serviceable.
It should also be noted that the cost of this 11-month upgrade is not included in the ever-lower costs publicly claimed by Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon.)