Tuesday, December 10, 2013

F-35B to visit Luke Air Force Base at Singapore's request

F-35B Lightning II STOVL Joint Strike Fighter (Lockheed-Martin Photo)

This just in from Luke AFB's Facebook page:

F-35B aircraft from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma are expected to be flying at Luke AFB from approximately 10:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Dec. 10. The aircraft will be at Luke at the request of senior defense officials from Singapore, who are visiting the base as part of Forging Sabre, a Singapore armed forces exercise taking place at Luke and at the Barry M. Goldwater training range. Singapore is considering purchasing F-35s in the future.

The F-35B is the “short takeoff and vertical landing” variant of the aircraft developed for the U.S. Marine Corps. It is configured differently than the F-35A “conventional takeoff and landing” variant used by the U.S. Air Force. The first of Luke’s F-35A aircraft are expected to arrive in early 2014.

Luke will not be hosting media for the event, but media and the general public are welcome to observe the aircraft flying in the pattern from public areas outside the base.

For questions, contact the 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office at 623-856-6011 or after duty hours at 623-856-5600.


I have written extensively on Singapore's interest in the F-35, specifically the F-35B (see here, here and here). This latest event seems to indicate that Singapore's interest is firming up, or maybe Singapore might even confirm the reported decision to buy the F-35B at this upcoming event at Luke. Although the lack of a media event probably makes the latter unlikely.

Thanks to Sze Yong for spotting this.

UPDATE: Here are press reports from The Gazette and Military Times on the visit.

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