In a year where the Department of Defense struggled to address a global pandemic, uncertainty at home, and multiple security challenges abroad, the F-35 program stands out as a success story. The aircraft continues to provide exceptional capability for three U.S. Armed Services and more than a dozen foreign operators. In the face of COVID-19 slamming their supply chains on the home front, the F-35 industrial team still managed to produce a near-record 123 fighters. 2020 also saw the roll-out of the first version of the Operational Data Integrated Network (ODIN), the new logistics support program. Last year also saw F-35s from all three Services participate in numerous exercises and training events. This is a remarkable record for any large, complex defense program in normal times, much less while struggling to deal with the human and economic toll caused by a global pandemic. I have written ore on the F-35 program here.
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