Every new Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition program gets assigned a series of milestones before it can be declared to be fully deployed or operational. This depends on each system’s Capability Development Document (CDD). One of these is the Initial Operating Capability (IOC). By reaching its 10,000 flying hours, the new Joint Strike Fighter F-35A Lighting II is approaching such milestone.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters undergoing final development and testing by the DOD. The fifth generation combat aircraft is designed to perform ground attack, aerial reconnaissance, and air defense missions. With a hefty price tag, it has received a considerable amount of praise and criticism. The achievement of its IOC is an important step toward the all important goal of becoming the main manned tactical airpower of the U.S. military.
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