How many F-35 Lightning II fighters did the US deliver in 2021?

WASHINGTON – Thanks to digital technologies, Lockheed Martin achieved better results than expected, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned by analyzing Lockheed Martin’s data and quoting FlightGlobal.

In 2021, the American company Lockheed Martin delivered 142 fifth-generation F-35 fighters to its customers, the data show. That figure was higher than the pre-announced number of 132-139 fighters Lockheed Martin planned to deliver last year.

Thus, the company managed to overcome the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on production: for comparison, in 2020 Lockheed Martin delivered to customers only 123 fighters, while in 2019 this figure was 134 aircraft.

Among the reasons that contributed to this result, the company called the active use of “digital technology” in the production of fighters, including “smart tools related to the network and augmented reality.”

The company also talks about the “victories” and achievements of the F-35 fighter in 2021. Among the most significant – won tenders in Finland and Switzerland, the first fighter for Denmark and others.

This year was also the first operational deployment of the US Navy F-35C aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and the deployment of a joint F-35B of the Royal Air Force and the US Navy aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth.

BAE Systems upgrades the F-35’s EW

As we reported in December 17 lst year, thanks to new sensors and more powerful signal processing, F-35 fighter systems will be able to effectively combat modern threats. BAE Systems is upgrading the electronic warfare system for the F-35 [Block 4] under a $ 493 million contract from Lockheed Martin.

Production of the new system will begin with Lot 17 in 2024. “This contract provides funding for the development and improvement of the basic REB Block 4 hardware for the F-35,” said Lisa Aucoin, BAE Systems Vice President of F-35 Solutions. It is noted that the update should provide the fighter with “excellent opportunities to anticipate emerging and evolving threats.”

It is noted that the upgrade of the EW should be “a central part of the improvements to the F-35 Block 4, made possible by the new processors installed under Tech Refresh 3”.

Under the contract, the aircraft will receive more powerful basic equipment for the EW AN / ASQ-239 system. The update should “improve situational awareness, the possibility of electromagnetic attacks and countermeasures through new sensors and more powerful signal processing”.

The capabilities of the upgraded AN / ASQ-239 will be used on other platforms to ensure that all fighter jets are ready for state-of-the-art EW capabilities, according to BAE Systems. This should allow friendly forces to “prevent emerging threats”.

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