Thursday, March 9, 2023

Fighter aircraft: Lockheed Martin F-35

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multi-role combat aircraft. The US-made F-35 Lightning II is offering the US military and its allies interoperability, dynamic targeting and upgrades to legacy systems as it spreads among international militaries. The F-35 strengthens national security, enhances global partnerships and powers economic growth.

The capabilities of the cutting-edge F-35 Lightning II are enabling both the United States and its allies to secure their interests in the Middle East and around the globe.

The F-35 was the product of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, which was the merger of various combat aircraft programs from the 1980s and 1990s. The JSF concept was introduced by the US Air Force. Aim of this program was to combine conventional fighter aircraft for the Air Force, catapulted ship-borne aircraft for the US Navy and short take-off-and-vertical-landing fighter for the US Marine Corps.

In 1997, Lockheed Martin and Boeing selected for Joint Strike Fighter concept demonstration phase. On Oct. 26, 2001, the joint Strike Fighter System Design and Development contract is awarded to Lockheed Martin and from 1997 its development has been shared with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.

The X-35 first flew on 24 October 2000 and the F-35A on 15 December 2006. By Nov. 10, 2003, manufacturing begins on F-35 airframe with milling process. In 2015 a short take-off and vertical landing version of the F-35, the F-35B, reached initial operational capability with the US Marine Corps. During the same year full-rate production of the F-35 commenced.

With 830 fighters delivered (as at mid-2022) and thousands more to come—the U.S. alone plans to buy 2,456. The Pentagon plans to operate them until 2070.
Fighter aircraft: Lockheed Martin F-35

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