Selfridge ANG Base May Be Home To U.S.’s Newest Fighter Aircraft
The United States Air Force has put Selfridge Air National Guard Base on an elite list of five locations under consideration for the F-35A Lightning, the nation’s newest fighter aircraft.
The plan is for the F-35 to replace the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft now assigned to the base and flown by the 107th Fighter Squadron, Michigan Air National Guard.
“We are confident that we have made a very strong case that it is in the best interest of the nation to locate the F-35 at Selfridge,” Maj. Gen. Gregory J. Vadnais, the adjutant general of Michigan, said in a release. “Given the infrastructure at Selfridge and at our northern Michigan training facilities in Alpena and Grayling, it just makes sense, both operationally and fiscally, to base the F-35 in Michigan.”
If the Pentagon selects Selfridge as a future F-35 base, the new aircraft likely would be arriving at Selfridge in 2022.
Selfridge, in Harrison Township, has a long and colorful history. It opened in the early days of World War I, when fighter aircraft were still called “pursuit aeroplanes” and featured canvas-covered wings and propellers.
About the F-35 Lightning II Fighter Aircraft:
The F-35A is the U.S. Air Force’s latest fifth-generation fighter. It will replace the U.S. Air Force’s aging fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-10 Thunderbolt II’s, which have been the primary fighter aircraft for more than 20 years. Additionally, it will bring an enhanced capability to survive in the advanced threat environment in which it was designed to operate. With its aerodynamic performance and advanced integrated avionics, the F-35A will provide next-generation stealth, enhanced situational awareness, and reduced vulnerability for the United States and allied nations.
General Characteristics Primary Function: Multirole fighter
Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin
Power Plant: One Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 turbofan engine
Thrust: 43,000 pounds
Wingspan: 35 feet (10.7 meters)
Length: 51 feet (15.7 meters)
Height: 14 feet (4.38 meters)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 70,000 pound class Fuel Capacity:
Internal: 18,498 pounds
Payload: 18,000 pounds (8,160 kilograms)
Speed: Mach 1.6 (~1,200 mph)
Range: More than 1,350 miles with internal fuel (1,200+ nautical miles), unlimited with aerial refueling
Ceiling: Above 50,000 feet (15 kilometers)
Armament: Internal and external capability.
Munitions carried vary based on mission requirements.