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F-35B Lightning II  
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 31 July 2015
Maiden Flight: 11 June 2008
Total Production: 540
Unitary Cost: USD$123 million
Also Known As: F-35 STOVL, 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: 3,087
Total Cost: USD$379 billion
Family Members: F-35A Lightning II, F-35C Lightning II and F-35I Adir
Reviews   Average 7.5
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  Maneuverability 6.0
  Payload 7.0
  Performance 8.0
  Range 7.0
  Speed 9.0
  Survivability 8.0
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 Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B was developed as the replacement for the USMC F/A-18C/D and AV-8B+ Harrier STOVL aircraft as well as the British Harrier jump-jet. The F-35B aircraft has a refueling probe on the right side of the forward fuselage, rather the US Air Force standard refueling receptacle. The propulsion system is different from the rest of F-35 variants but the aircraft remains supersonic flight capable. The original plans of the USMC called for the procurement of 609 F-35Bs and the United Kingdom (UK) required up to 150 F-35Bs for Royal Navy's new generation aircraft carriers and the Royal Air Force. As of early 2014, the USMC plans are for 340 F-35Bs, the UK 138 aircraft and Italy 30 aircraft from a previous requirement of 90 F-35Bs. Spain has expressed interest in the F-35B. The maiden flight was carried out on June 11, 2008, and the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is set for July 2016 or later after some unexpected issues with the airplane's software.

F-35B Lightning II Applications

Fighting Ships Anadolu Conte di Cavour LHA 6 America LHA 8 LPH Queen Elizabeth

F-35B Lightning II Specifications

Crew: 1
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 (15.6 meter)
Main Gun Caliber: 25 millimeter
Wingspan: 35 foot (10.7 meter)
Max Maneuvering Load Factor: 7 g
Availability: 37 %
Ceiling: 60,000 foot (18,288 meter)
Max Range: 900 nautical mile (1,036 mile)
Radius of Operation: 469 nautical mile (869 kilometer)
Top Speed at High Altitude: 1.60 mach (1,913 kph)
Empty Weight: 32,300 pound (14.7 ton)
Fuel Load: 13,500 pound (6.12 ton)
Max Takeoff Thrust: 40,000 pound (18,144 kilogram)
Max Takeoff Weight: 60,000 pound (27.2 ton)
Payload: 15,000 pound (6.80 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-35B Lightning II News

There are 171 news between
23 Jan 2003 and 9 Jul 2020
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Thursday, July 9, 2020FMS: Japan Requests Sale of 63 F-35A and 42 F-35B Stealth Jets
Thursday, June 11, 2020Italy Orders Five F-35A and One F-35B Stealth Jets under Lot 14 Contract
Tuesday, March 31, 2020US Navy Places Order for an Additional 48 F-35A, 14 F-35B and 16 F-35C Aircraft Through 2023
Saturday, February 22, 2020USS America Amphibous Assault Ship Deployed with F-35B Stealth Jets
Thursday, January 9, 2020FMS: Singapore Requests Sale of up to 12 F-35B STOVL Stealth Aircraft
Tuesday, October 29, 2019Lockheed Martin GSTAR System To Be Integrated In F-35 Modernization
Monday, October 28, 2019US, Autralia, Norway and Italy Order 114 Lot 13 F-35A/B/C Aircraft Worth $7 Billion
Friday, August 23, 2019Pentagon Orders $2.4 Billion of F-35 Parts
Wednesday, July 24, 2019F-35 Stealth Jet Gets Ground Collision Avoidance System Software
Thursday, June 13, 2019US Marine Corps F-35B and US Navy F-35C Suffer Tail Overheating Problem

Operators & Related Equipment

Italy initial commitment was for 131 aircraft but due to cost escalate that number was set down to 90 in late 2011 and only 30 by 2014. Lot 13 (2); Lot 14 (1)
Jul 20181
Order for 42 F-35Bs announced in May 2019.
United Kingdom48
The purchase of the F-35B by the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force was dumped in October 2010 due to UK's Strategic Defence and Security Review favoring the purchase of the carrier-based F-35C. In May 2012, the UK MoD announced its intention to switch to the F-35B STOVL aircraft. Before May 2014 the UK plans called for up to 138 aircraft but since the program scopce has been set for 48 airplanes Aircraft ordered under Lot 3 (2); Lot 4 (1); Lot 7 (1); Lot 8 (4); Lot 9 (6); Lot 11 (1); Lot 12 (17)
202342UK Navy estimate September 2017
202040RAF estimate in December 2010 for a single squadron equipped with 25 aircraft
Jun 201924
Dec 201714
United States of America420
So far 143 aircraft ordered in Lot 2 (6), Lot 3 (7), Lot 4 (16), Lot 5 (3), Lot 6 (6), Lot 7 (6); Lot 8 (6); Lot 9 (6); Lot 10 (9); Lot 11 (18); Lot 12 (26); Lot 13 (34)
Apr 202081
Jul 201645
Aug 201510
Nov 201216

Grand Total 5404
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
Paveway IVx4
Offensive Weapons
Spear 3x2
Propulsion Systems
F136 STOVLx1
Protection Systems
Sensor Systems
F-35 CNIx1
Next Generation DASx1
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