The first F-35 Lighting aircraft touched down at Luke Air Force base in Glendale, Arizona on Monday March 10, 2014 – marking an end of an era.
Over the next couple of months the base will prepare to receive a total of 144 F-35 aircraft.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth-generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability (source: http://web.archive.org/web/20100724021638/http://www.lockheedmartin.com/products/f35/f-35-capabilities.html).
The F-35 has three main models; the F-35A is a conventional takeoff and landing variant, the F-35B is a short take-off and vertical-landing variant, and the F-35C is a carrier-based variant.
The F-35 was developed from the X-35, the product of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. It is being designed and built by an aerospace industry team led by Lockheed Martin. Other major F-35 industry partners include Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney and BAE. The F-35 took its first flight on 15 December 2006.
The United States plans to buy a total of 2,443 aircraft.
The F-35 variants are intended to provide the bulk of its manned tactical airpower for the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy over the coming decades. Deliveries of the F-35 for the U.S. military are to be completed in 2037 (source: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/12/17/air-force-seeks-jets-beyond-c17-and-even-jsf.html).
I also had a conversation with a retired F-16 fighter pilot who indicated that the aircraft will undoubtedly “attract a lot of attention from our enemies.”
He also reminded me that this will be “the largest single concentration of F-35’s in the entire Southwest.”
We sought to bring these issues to the attention of the Commander of Luke Air Force base – Colonel John T. Hanna, but so far his office has spurned our efforts to get a face to face meeting with the man.
Colonel John T. Hanna is the Commander, 56th Operations Group, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.
We tried just last week to connect with Colonel Hanna to ask him about how the transition of the F-35 will affect Luke Air Force base – but our emails were ignored.
We also wanted to ask him about “security” at the base since the arrival of the first F-35.
It is well known that foreign intelligence services, including the Russian foreign intelligence service (SVR) are actively targeting the F-35 program. Not to mention sophisticated cyber hackers and thieves.
See article: Cyber hackers breached jet fighter programhttp://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20090421/NEWS/904210308/Cyber-hackers-breached-jet-fighter-program
See also: Computer Spies Breach Fighter-Jet Project. Read more here:http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB12402749102983740