Lockheed Martin has rolled out the first F-35A aircraft built for the South Korean air force at a ceremony held Wednesday at the company’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
South Korean fighter pilots and maintainers will train at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona prior to the aircraft’s flight to its operational base in Cheongju sometime in 2019, Lockheed said Wednesday.
Marillyn Hewson, chairman, president and CEO, said the company supports South Korea with the delivery of the fifth-generation aircraft.
“We know that it will be a symbol of strength reminding us all that when we partner together, our nations are safer, our people are more secure, and our future is brighter,” added Hewson, a 2018 Wash100 recipient.
U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Mat Winter, F-35 program executive officer, said that the first of six F-35s for the South Korean air force is scheduled for deliver later this year.
The Republic of Korea intends to procure 40 units of the fighter aircraft through the U.S. foreign military sales program.