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    This Country Flies the Most F-35 Lightning II Fighter Jets, and It’s Not Even Close

    By Chris Lange,

    25 days ago

    This post includes affiliate links. If you purchase anything through these affiliated links, may earn a commission. The F-35 Lightning II is a top-notch American fighter jet, showing off the best in engineering and tech. Created by Lockheed Martin with help from BAe Systems and Northrop Grumman, it hit the skies in 2016. It is one of the newest of the fifth generation fighter jets and countries around the world are adding it to their fleets. ( These countries are buying the most F-35 Lightning II fighter jets. )

    Here 24/7 Wall St. is taking a closer look at countries with these jets in their fleets. To identify the countries with the most F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 2024 World Air Forces report from FlightGlobal, an aviation and aerospace industry publication. We ranked these countries according to the number of F-35 jets in their military. We included supplemental information regarding active F-35s in respective fleets, military branches that will be using these aircraft, and what variants of the F-35 are on order or are currently in service.

    What makes the F-35 Lightning II special is that it brings next-level features like stealth, maneuverability, and the ability to cruise at supersonic speeds without afterburners. Also, it's versatile with its weapons load, and capable of carrying up to 18,000 pounds of munitions.

    The cost of an F-35 depends on the variants. The basic F-35A comes in at about $110 million per unit. The F-35B is a bit pricier at around $136 million each, but it has the ability to take off from short runways and land vertically. At the same time, there's the F-35C, built for aircraft carriers, which costs roughly $117 million per unit.

    So far, only 20 countries, all allies of the U.S., have ordered or use these jets. This means it's pretty unlikely that rivals like China or Russia will get their hands on an F-35 anytime soon. (These are the world's future military aircraft. )

    Here is a look at the countries with the most F-35 Lightning II fighter jets: Why Are We Covering This?

    The F-35 Lightning II fighter jets are important because they represent the pinnacle of modern military aviation. The F-35 has become a critical asset for many of the U.S. allied countries that employ them, strengthening their air defense capabilities and maintaining a technological edge over potential adversaries.

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