The first Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II with a Center Wing Assembly built at the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, Ga., was flown for the first time last week. The aircraft, known as BF-25, is an F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing variant that will be delivered to the U. S. Marine Corps at Yuma, Arizona. The CWA is a major structural component and represents approximately one quarter of the aircraftís fuselage. Approximately 350 people work on the F-35 program in Marietta. In addition to building the CWAs, technicians also apply specialized stealth coatings to F-35 horizontal and vertical tail control assemblies and also coat spare and repaired aircraft doors, panels and covers. The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least ten other countries.
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