The Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter team says it has successfully completed the structural coupling testing of the F-35 next-generation fighter five days ahead of schedule. The JSF team has moved on to other ground tests. With the first flight of the aircraft planned for fall, Lockheed’s JSF Program General Manager Dan Crowley said the results were “within the expected range” and indicates the team understands the flight control system and the fighter’s structural response inputs fairly well. As part of the testing, the team evaluated fuel and weapons load configurations, with the fighter’s two internal bays fully loaded—for the first time—with inert bombs and air-to-air missiles.
As the Pentagon increasingly pivots its focus to strategic competition with China, the U.S. will look to expand its partnership with South Korea to increase security across the entire Indo-Pacific region, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said Dec. 2 during a visit to the northeastern Asian nation.