The Centerpiece of 21st Century Global Security
Since the first F-35 Lightning II rolled out of the Lockheed Martin factory in Fort Worth, Texas in 2006, the program’s reach has exponentially expanded around the globe.
Of the original nine partner countries – Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States – six have received their first jets. There are also three foreign military sale (FMS) customers - Israel, Japan and the Republic of Korea. In addition, the F-35 is being evaluated by the Belgian government as a possible replacement for their F-16 fleet. The Finnish government is also evaluating the F-35 as a possible replacement for their F/A-18C/D fleet.
Israel and Japan received their first jets in 2016. Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, UK, US, Israel and Japan have pilots and maintainers either fully trained or at some point in the training process.
Suppliers in all nine of the program's partner countries are producing F-35 components for all aircraft, not just those for their country. And in addition to the Fort Worth plant, there are two Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facilities outside the United States: one in Cameri, Italy, where the first jet was delivered in December 2015; and another in Nagoya, Japan, where the first jet is currently being manufactured.