The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters.


Lockheed F-35A Lightning II

The F-35 closely resembles a smaller, single-engine Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, drawing design elements from its twin-engine sibling. The exhaust duct design was inspired by the General Dynamics Model 200, proposed for a 1972 supersonic VTOL fighter requirement for the Sea Control Ship. Although several experimental designs have been developed since the 1960s, such as the unsuccessful Rockwell XFV-12, the F-35B is to be the first operational supersonic, STOVL stealth fighter.

 

Acquisition deputy to the assistant secretary of the Air Force, Lt. Gen. Mark D. "Shack" Shackelford has said that the F-35 is designed to be America's "premier surface-to-air missile killer and is uniquely equipped for this mission with cutting edge processing power, synthetic aperture radar integration techniques, and advanced target recognition". Lockheed Martin states the F-35 is intended to have close- and long-range air-to-air capability second only to that of the F-22 Raptor. Lockheed Martin has said that the F-35 has the advantage over the F-22 in basing flexibility and "advanced sensors and information fusion". Lockheed Martin has suggested that the F-35 could replace the USAF's F-15C/D fighters in the air superiority role and the F-15E Strike Eagle in the ground attack role

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The F-35A is armed with a GAU-22/A, a four-barrel version of the 25 mm GAU-12 Equalizer cannon. The cannon is mounted internally with 182 rounds for the F-35A or in an external pod with 220 rounds for the F-35B and F-35C; the gun pod has stealth features. Software updates to enable operational firing of the cannon are expected to be completed by 2018.] The F-35 has two internal weapons bays, and external hardpoints for mounting up to four underwing pylons and two near wingtip pylons. The two outer hardpoints can carry pylons for the AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-132 ASRAAM short-range air-to-air .

Lockheed
 Lockheed F-35A Lightning II

The F-35 has been designed to have a low radar cross-section that is primarily due to the shape of the aircraft and the use of stealthy, radar-absorbent materials in its construction, including fiber-mat.

 Unlike the previous generation of fighters, the F-35 was designed for very-low-observable characteristics.

Besides radar stealth measures, the F-35 incorporates infrared signature and visual signature reduction measures.

  • History

    Role  Stealth multirole fighter

    National origin  United States

    Manufacturer  Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

    For Specifications: Click here

  • Primary User

    United States Air Force

    United States Marine Corps

    United States Navy

    See Operators section for others

  • Variants

    15 December 2006 (F-35A)

    Introduction  F-35B: 31 July 2015 (USMC)

    F-35A: 2 August 2016 (USAF)

    F-35C: 2018 (USN)

     

Lockheed F-35A Lightning II

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