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Eielson Air Force Base control tower

Air Force sending one F-35 to Eielson for testing

By Sam Friedman, Fairbanks Daily News Miner

FAIRBANKS — After years of hearing about the new F-35 fighter plane that’s coming to Eielson Air Force Base, Interior residents may get to see one.

The 354th Fighter Wing announced Wednesday that one F-35A Lighting II will be at Eielson for testing this month. It’s not one of the planes that will be stationed here in 2020. On Oct. 17, 354th Fighter Wing Cmdr. David Mineau will talk with community leaders about the F-35A’s mission in Alaska, according to a new release from the 354th Fighter Wing.

The F-35 is a multipurpose fighter plane designed to replace older fighters, including the Air Force’s F-16 Fighting Falcons, the A-10 Warthog, the Navy’s aircraft carrier-based F-18 Hornet and the Marine Corps’ AV-8B Harrier II “jump jet.” The F-35 is the most expensive weapons program in U.S. history. Each F-35A costs about $95 million. The U.S. plans to buy more than 2,400 of them and sell hundreds to allies.

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