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The U.S. Air Force officially accepted the first F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from Lockheed Martin at its Fort Worth, Texas, facility on May 5. The milestone, which occurred with the formal acceptance of F-35A AF-7, comes just under 10 years since the F-35 System Development and Demonstration contract was awarded to Lockheed, and around 14.5 years since the signing of the original JSF development contract. AF-7, officially on the USAF books, arrives over Edwards AFB (Lockheed Martin)Following its handover AF-7 was flown on May 6 to Edwards AFB, Calif., to join the flight test program. Lockheed Martin says overall the F-35s have completed more than 865 flights since flight-testing began in late 2006. In addition to AF-7, eight more production-model F-35s have rolled out and are being prepared for delivery. Under current planning, the Air Force is expected to acquire 1,763 F-35As.
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