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The F-35A is on track to be declared initially operationally capable between August and December 2016. IOC is the first step Air Combat Command will take in bringing the F-35 online as the latest fifth generation multirole fighter. In IOC configuration, the aircraft will be able to penetrate areas with developed air defenses, provide close air support to ground troops and be readily deployable to conflict theaters. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Melissa E. Walther/Released)
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