The horizontal tails on the first F-35 have been installed at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth facility, marking completion of major structural component assembly by the Joint Strike Fighter team, the company announced Tuesday. The next major milestone for the fifth generation fighter is engine installation in early 2006. Lockheed says Pratt & Whitney is scheduled to deliver the F135 engine to Texas before the end of December.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.