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F-35A Lightning II  
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2 August 2016
Maiden Flight: 15 December 2006
Total Production: 2,195
Development Cost: USD$56 billion
Unitary Cost: USD$95 million
Also Known As: CF-35, F-35 CTOL, Joint Strike Fighter and JSF
Origin: United States of America
Corporations: BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin* and Northrop Grumman   (*) lead contractor
Parent System: F-35 Lightning II
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 31 July 2015
Maiden Flight: 15 December 2006
Total Production: 3,059
Total Cost: USD$379 billion
Family Members: F-35B Lightning II, F-35C Lightning II and F-35I Adir
Reviews   Average 4.8
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  Maneuverability 4.0
  Payload 4.0
  Performance 6.0
  Range 5.0
  Speed 4.0
  Survivability 6.0
Description: The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is the United States Department of Defense (US DoD) program intended as the replacement for a variety of airborne platforms used by the US Air Force (USAF), US Navy (USN) and US Marine Corps (USMC) as well as allied nations. The F-35's size and maneuverability characteristics are similar to those of the F-16, its integrated avionics makes possible to carry out multiple missions using the same platform and its stealthy airframe gives the first-look, first-shoot capability. The first-look, first-shoot seems to be the cornerstone of air-to-air engagements of the 21st century as it did the maneuverability during the second half of the 20th century. Due to stealthy restrictions, the F-35 carries the weaponry in a single/double inner bay and not externally attached to hard points. The internal weapons bay reduces the drag providing a better aerodynamic performance. Less drag also translates into increased range and higher sustained speed. When air superiority has been established the F-35 can use weapons carried externally increasing its Radar Cross Section (RCS) and becoming more vulnerable to radar-based threats.

The F-35 aircraft will feature the fully integrated, nose-mounted EOTS providing day, night and all weather air-to-air/surface targeting, situational awareness, and target recognition. The EOTS advanced sensor will assume the functions of current LANTIRN, LITENING, and Sniper XR systems with the asset to be useful for air-to-air engagements using its Infrared (IR) search and track (IRST) capability. The F-35 main sensor, the APG-81 radar, is an active electronically scanned array (AESA). The F-35 primary role is air-to-surface precision strike with a secondary air-to-air capability. The Joint Strike Fighter concept is flexible enough to perform any mission. The United States is developing three main versions known as the F-35A (USAF), F-35B (USMC) and F-35C (USN and USMC). On 7 July 2006, the US Air Force chief of staff - General T. Michael Moseley - announced Lightning II as the F-35 name. The P-38 was the first aircraft named Lightning. P-38 was also a strike fighter and played an important role during World War II.

One key element of the F-35 JSF program is to reduce the aircraft's logistics support needs with less than half the people, parts and equipment to deploy rapidly anywhere in the world. The program also will focus on minimizing the reliance on aerial refueling aircraft. For fourth generation aircraft operation-and-support costs meant more than 60 percent of aircraft's total ownership costs. JSF will amend that figure by 20-30 percent. This will be done primarily through built-in Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) capabilities will monitor the status of aircraft systems and automatically transmit the information to maintainers on the ground. PHM will enable technicians to meet the aircraft with all necessary tools, people and parts to conduct the maintenance and get the plane airborne again quickly. The F-35 aircraft program expectations call for more than 3,000 airplanes to be produced by 2035 becoming the most important military program in the 21st century.

The Conventional Take-Off and Landing (CTOL) F-35A stealth fighter aircraft was developed to replace the F-16C/D and A-10A/C in the US Air Force inventory as well as the F-15C/D Eagle and F-15E Strike Eagle after the shut down of the F-22 assembly line and the cancellation of the FB-22 stealth strike fighter. As of 2005 the United States and the partner countries the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Turkey, Australia, Denmark, and Norway were involved in the F-35 program. Israel and Singapore were security cooperative participants. The partner countries are expected to sign orders for 500 to 600 F-35s in late 2006. On April 28, 2006 Lockheed Martin was awarded the first advance acquisition contract in support of Lot 1 Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) for five F-35A Joint Strike Fighters. The contract was valued at $901 million and was slated for completion by January 2010. The F-35A performed its first flight on December 16, 2006 and is expected to achieve Initial Operational Capability (IOC) by December 2016 with the USAF. The F-35A is a big success in the export market with the aircraft expected to replace the F-16, F-18, Tornado and F-4 in several allied nations Air Forces.

F-35A Lightning II Specifications

Crew: 1
External Stations: 6
Internal Stations: 4
Number of Engines: 1
Service Life Flight Hours: 8,000
Radar Cross Section (RCS): 0.10 square meter (1,000 square cm)
Wing Area: 460 square foot (43 square meter)
Height: 14.2 foot (4.33 meter)
Length: 51 foot (15.7 meter)
Main Gun Caliber: 25 millimeter
Wingspan: 35 foot (10.7 meter)
Max Maneuvering Load Factor: 9 g
Availability: 37 %
Ceiling: 60,000 foot (18,288 meter)
Max Range: 1,200 nautical mile (1,381 mile)
Radius of Operation: 584 nautical mile (1,082 kilometer)
Top Speed at High Altitude: 1.60 mach (1,913 kph)
Service Life: 40 year
Empty Weight: 29,300 pound (13.3 ton)
External Payload: 15,000 pound (6,804 kilogram)
Fuel Load: 18,480 pound (8.38 ton)
Max Takeoff Thrust: 43,000 pound (19,505 kilogram)
Max Takeoff Weight: 70,000 pound (31.8 ton)
Operational Weight: 49,540 pound (22,471 kilogram)
Payload: 18,000 pound (8.16 ton)
CEP: Circular Error Probable
Meters (m)   Kilometers (km)   Nautic Miles (nm)   Inch (in)   Yard (yd)   Foot (ft)   Millimeter (mm)
Pound (lb)   Kilogram (kg)   kN (KiloNewton)   Ton (t)
Meters per Second (mps)   Kilometers per Hour (kph)   Knot (kt)   Miles per Hour (mph)
Liter (l)   Galon (gl)
Year (yr)   Minutes (min)   Second (sec)
Shaft-Horse-Power (shp)

F-35A Lightning II News

There are 237 news between
28 Aug 2003 and 16 Sep 2019
1  2  3  4  5  | 24
Monday, September 16, 2019US Air Force NGAD Program Aiming at F/A-22 and F-35A Replacement
Wednesday, September 11, 2019FMS: Poland Requests Sale of 32 F-35A Jet as Replacement for Su-22 and Mig-29 Aircraft
Friday, August 23, 2019Pentagon Orders $2.4 Billion of F-35 Parts
Tuesday, August 6, 2019F-35 Fighter Demonstrates Integration with US Army Air and Missile Defense
Sunday, August 4, 2019Turkey to Deploy SOM-J Cruise Missile with Akinci Unmanned Combat Aircraft
Wednesday, July 24, 2019F-35 Stealth Jet Gets Ground Collision Avoidance System Software
Friday, June 7, 2019Lockheed Martin Awarded $1.8 Billion Contract to Develop F-35 Block 4 Capabilities by 2026
Monday, May 27, 2019Japan to Buy 63 F-35As and 42 F-35B Stealth Jets
Thursday, May 23, 2019US Air Force to Deploy F-15EX an F-35A Jets along Skyborg Drones
Wednesday, May 1, 2019US Air Force F-35A Conducts First Combat Mission

Operators & Related Equipment

Lot 11 (8)
The Italian Air Force original plans were for 130 airplanes but the final procurement was set to 60 F-35As by 2014. Aircraft ordered under Lot 6 (3); Lot 7 (3); Lot 8 (2); Lot 11 (1)
Nov 201810
Aircraft ordered in December 2011 as replacement for the F-4EJ aircraft under F-X program. Second order for 63 F-35As announced in May 2019. Aircraft ordered under Lot 8 (4); Lot 9 (2); Lot 11 (6)
Initial plans called for the procurement of 85 airplanes but the final procurement program is now aimed at 35/37 airplanes. Lot 11 (8)
Aircraft ordered under Lot 7 (2); Lot 8 (2); Lot 9 (6); Lot 11 (6)
Oct 201915
Nov 20173
South Korea40
Aircraft ordered under F-X program (40 airplanes) in March 2014. Lot 11 (10)
Lot 11 (4). Turkey was kicked out of the F-35 program in 2019 after buying the S-400 air defense system
United States of America1,763
So far 268 aircraft ordered in Lot 1 (2), Lot 2 (6), Lot 3 (7), Lot 4 (10), Lot 5 (22), Lot 6 (18), Lot 7 (19); Lot 8 (19); Lot 9 (26); Lot 10 (44); Lot 11 (48); Lot 12 (64)
Mar 2019174
Sep 2016104
Jul 201545

Grand Total 2,31111
Cannons & Gear
F-35 HMDSx1
Defensive Weapons
AIM-9X-2 Sidewinderx2
B61 Mod 12x1
GBU-12 Paveway IIx2
GBU-49 Paveway IIx2
GBU-53/B StormBreakerx2
Offensive Weapons
Propulsion Systems
Protection Systems
Sensor Systems
F-35 CNIx1
Next Generation DASx1
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