24th student sortie at Eglin completes F-35 operational utility evaluation

F-35 pilots
Student Major Matt Johnston (left) walks from the 24th F-35 student sortie at Eglin AFB, Fla., with Instructor Lt Col Eric Smith. (Photo by Maj. Karen Roganov.)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., 15 Nov. 2012. The 24th student sortie in a Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation multirole fighter landed yesterday afternoon at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Excitement flowed throughout the base, as this singular event completes the training and flying portions of the operational utility evaluation (OUE).

The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTECH), a direct reporting unit of the United States Air Force at Kirtland Air Force BaseN.M., will soon certify the OUE is complete.

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II is reportedly "the world’s only international 5thGeneration multirole fighter."

Lockheed Martin officials credit the F-35's advanced avionics with providing pilots "real-time access to battle space information with spherical coverage and an unparalleled ability to dominate the tactical environment. Data collected by F-35 sensors can be immediately shared with commanders at sea, in the air, or on the ground."

Lockheed Martin's partners on the F-35 include:
Northrop Grumman
BAE Systems
Pratt & Whitney

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F-35 at Eglin AFB
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II sits in a hangar at Eglin AFB, Fla., following completion of the 24th student sortie. (Photo by Maj. Karen Roganov.)

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