The Lockheed F-35 is an advanced stealth fifth generation fighter combining speed and superb agility. There are three variants; F-35A, B and C. The F-35A CTOL (Conventional Take Off and Landing) and has four internal weapons stations in two weapons bays plus three optional external weapons stations. The F-35B STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant while the F-35C is a CV (Carrier Variant). The F-35 will replace the USAF A-10 and F-16, the F/A-18 for the USN and the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the USMC.
In September 2014 the Republic of Korea agreed to purchase 40 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning IIs to replace their old F-4E Phantom IIs. In August 2017 the first RoKAF aircraft AW-1 serial 17-008 reached the EMAS (Electronic Matte and Assembly Line) where all the pieces start to come together. According to Lockheed Martin this airframe is on schedule for an April 2018 delivery. The plan is for all 40 RoKAF F-35As to be delivered by 2021 and as each aircraft is completed it will go to Luke AFB for pilot training.