F-35 Lightning II

Lockheed Martin

F-35 Lightning II

F-35 Lightning II

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is an American family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole combat aircraft that is intended to perform both air superiority and strike missions. It is also able to provide electronic warfare and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. Lockheed Martin is the prime F-35 contractor, with principal partners Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. The aircraft has three main variants: the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35A, the short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) F-35B, and the carrier-based (CV/CATOBAR) F-35C.

The aircraft descends from the Lockheed Martin X-35, which in 2001 beat the Boeing X-32 to win the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. Its development is principally funded by the United States, with additional funding from program partner countries from NATO and close U.S. allies, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Italy, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and formerly Turkey. Several other countries have ordered, or are considering ordering, the aircraft. The program has drawn much scrutiny and criticism for its unprecedented size, complexity, ballooning costs,[8] and much-delayed deliveries, with numerous technical flaws still being corrected. The acquisition strategy of concurrent production of the aircraft while it was still in development and testing led to expensive design changes and retrofits.

The F-35B entered service with the U.S. Marine Corps in July 2015, followed by the U.S. Air Force F-35A in August 2016 and the U.S. Navy F-35C in February 2019.[1][2][3] The F-35 was first used in combat in 2018 by the Israeli Air Force,[12] which also shot down the first enemy aircraft in combat, in 2021.[13] The U.S. plans to buy 2,456 F-35s through 2044, which will represent the bulk of the crewed tactical airpower of the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps for several decades.[14] The aircraft is projected to operate until 2070.


General characteristics

Crew: 1
Length: 51.4 ft (15.7 m)
Wingspan: 35 ft (11 m)
Height: 14.4 ft (4.4 m)
Wing area: 460 sq ft (43 m2)
Aspect ratio: 2.66
Empty weight: 29,300 lb (13,290 kg)
Gross weight: 49,540 lb (22,471 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 70,000 lb (31,751 kg)
Fuel capacity: 18,250 lb (8,278 kg) internal
Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 afterburning turbofan, 28,000 lbf (125 kN) thrust dry, 43,000 lbf (191 kN) with afterburner

Maximum speed: Mach 1.6 at altitude
Range: 1,500 nmi (1,700 mi, 2,800 km)
Combat range: 669 nmi (770 mi, 1,239 km) on internal fuel
760 nmi (870 mi; 1,410 km) interdiction mission on internal fuel, for internal air to air configuration[433]
Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,000 m)
g limits: +9.0
Wing loading: 107.7 lb/sq ft (526 kg/m2) at gross weight
Thrust/weight: 0.87 at gross weight (1.07 at loaded weight with 50% internal fuel)
Guns: 1 × 25 mm (0.984 in) GAU-22/A 4-barrel rotary cannon, 180 rounds[N 16]
Hardpoints: 4 × internal stations, 6 × external stations on wings with a capacity of 5,700 pounds (2,600 kg) internal, 15,000 pounds (6,800 kg) external, 18,000 pounds (8,200 kg) total weapons payload, with provisions to carry combinations of:
Air-to-air missiles:
AIM-9X Sidewinder
MBDA Meteor (Block 4, for F-35B)[197][434] (not before 2027)[435]
Air-to-surface missiles:
AGM-88G AARGM-ER (Block 4)
AGM-158 JASSM[190]
SPEAR 3 (Block 4, in development, integration contracted)[184][434]
Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM)
Air-to-surface/Anti-ship missiles:
Joint Strike Missile (JSM, integration in progress)[436]
Anti-ship missiles:
AGM-158C LRASM[437] (being integrated)
Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) series
Paveway series laser-guided bombs
B61 mod 12 nuclear bomb[438] (being certified)
AN/APG-81 AESA radar
AN/AAQ-40 E/O Targeting System (EOTS)
AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS) missile warning system
AN/ASQ-239 Barracuda electronic warfare system
AN/ASQ-242 CNI suite, which includes
Harris Corporation Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL) communication system
Link 16 data link
An IFF interrogator and transponder
AM, VHF, UHF AM, and UHF FM Radio
GUARD survival radio
A radar altimeter
An instrument landing system
A TACAN system
Instrument carrier landing system

The Vision Systems International helmet display is a key piece of the
F-35's human-machine interface.


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