00:37 GMT03 June 2020
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    The US F-35A Lightning II, a 5th-generation stealth fighter, has achieved initial operational capability, Lockheed Martin declared.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The head of the US Air Force Air Combat Command, General Herbert Carlisle, has officially announced that the F-35A Lightning II, a 5th-generation stealth fighter, has achieved initial operational capability (IOC), Lockheed Martin said in a statement on Tuesday.

    "With the F-35A, the Air Force now has a fighter combining next-generation radar-evading stealth, supersonic speed, fighter agility and advanced logistical support with the most powerful and comprehensive integrated sensor package of any fighter aircraft in history," the defense giant said in the statement.

    IOC is announced when the customer is confident that a new system can be effectively operated and maintained, and can integrate with other Pentagon weapons technologies.

    The US Air Force will buy 1,763 of  the 2,443 F-35's with the US Navy and Marine Corps procuring the remainder.

    The F-35 is expected to be in service for approximately 55 years or more.

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    Tags:
    F-35, US Air Force, United States
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