Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City has flown the first unmanned QF-16 Full Scale Aerial Target. Beginning next year, the modified F-16 Fighting Falcon replaces the QF-4 previously used for target practice during pilot training. Boeing is converting some fighters into drones now. They will be equipped to fly and land multiple times in manned and unmanned configurations before their final missions against live weapons on a controlled range.
Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, with the nation’s largest F-35 fleet, now has the Navy’s version of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (the F-35C). The new fighters will take off from aircraft carriers. The jet is a fifth-generation fighter that combines advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility. The fleet has three now and expects to get three more by the end of the year.