State leaders test out capabilities of an F-35 fighter jet


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Fort Smith will soon be the new home for the next generation of fighter plane technology. 

This morning a simulator was set up at Ebbing Air National Guard Base to demonstrate the capability of the F-35

In an ever-changing world, State leaders say it could not be more important to stay ahead of your adversaries when it comes to military technology. 

Those we spoke with said the F-35 is one way the U.S. continues to lead the way in air superiority.

James King is the director of the Navy’s F-35C program for Lockheed Martin, the company responsible for producing the long-range stealth strike fighter. He said what makes this fighter more competitive than its predecessors is its stealth technology. 

Before fighter pilots could only get so far without being detected, today the F-35 is able to get inside weapon range of our enemies. An upgrade that King said is extremely important.

“In the news, you often hear them speaking about Russia and China and them rapidly advancing their technologies. We have to keep developing our technologies to maintain influence,” said King. 

Congressman Steve Womack was also here Tuesday. He said if all goes according to plan in terms of environmental impact studies, the groundbreaking on the new base for the F-35’s will be in 2023. 

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