The troubled F-35 stealth jet made its debut at a British air show this week, demonstrating some of the capabilities the U.S. and other nations paid trillions of dollars to develop.
The F-35B Lightning II showed off its speed during flyovers and demonstrated its ability to hover in midair at the Farnborough International Airshow Tuesday, one of the biggest showcases of defense technology in the world.
Manufacturers and supporters of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter took the opportunity at Farnborough to declare the success of the ambitious defense program.
The troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has overcome numerous technical issues in the 15 years of development. Last year, investigators discovered that the ejection seats caused fatal injuries for pilots of a certain size. Officials canceled the initial unveiling of the F-35 when one jet’s engine caught fire during a test flight.
Hailed as the jet that will ensure air dominance for the U.S. and its allies for decades to come, the F-35 is projected to cost around $1.5 trillion dollars over the life of the program. Though the F-35 program incurred costs around $200 billion more than expected, Lockheed Martin Corporation expects to reduce the cost of production by 57 percent.
“The F-35 is operational, and the program is rapidly accelerating,” Joe DellaVedova, spokesman for the F-35 Joint Program Office told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The F-35 is going to form the backbone of air combat superiority for decades to come.”
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