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Weight-optimized F-35 test fleet adds conventional takeoff and landing variant

Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] rolled out the first weight-optimized conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant of the F-35 Lightning II fighter on Dec. 19. The new F-35A, called AF-1, joins three weight-optimized F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variants currently undergoing testing. The aircraft are structurally identical to the F-35s that will be delivered to armed services beginning in 2010.

"The Lightning II CTOL aircraft will be, by far, the most widely employed F-35 variant in the world, with more than 1,700 to be used by the U.S. Air Force alone," said Dan Crowley, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program general manager. "The F-35A we delivered is, at its core, the same aircraft that will enter operational service with the Air Force and international customers."

The first F-35A, known as AA-1, has completed 69 flights, and has a production-representative external shape and internal systems.

Press release issued by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company on December 23, 2008


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