28 Facts About F-35


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.

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F-35 was the product of the Joint Strike Fighter program, which was the merger of various combat aircraft programs from the 1980s and 1990s.

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In 2006, the F-35 was given the name "Lightning II" after the Lockheed P-38 Lightning of World War II.

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The F-35 program is conducting sustainment and upgrade development, with early LRIP aircraft gradually upgraded to the baseline Block 3F standard by 2021.

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F-35 is expected to be continually upgraded over its lifetime.

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F-35 is a family of single-engine, supersonic, stealth multirole fighters.

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The second fifth generation fighter to enter US service and the first operational supersonic STOVL stealth fighter, the F-35 emphasizes low observables, advanced avionics and sensor fusion that enable a high level of situational awareness and long range lethality; the USAF considers the aircraft its primary strike fighter for conducting suppression of enemy air defense missions, owing to the advanced sensors and mission systems.

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F-35 has a wing-tail configuration with two vertical stabilizers canted for stealth.

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The F-35 was designed with sensor intercommunication to provide a cohesive image of the local battlespace and availability for any possible use and combination with one another; for example, the APG-81 radar acts as a part of the electronic warfare system.

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F-35 was designed from the outset to incorporate improved processors, sensors, and software enhancements over its lifespan.

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The USAF has studied the potential for the F-35 to orchestrate attacks by unmanned combat aerial vehicles via its sensors and communications equipment.

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The RCS of the F-35 has been characterized as lower than a metal golf ball at certain frequencies and angles; in some conditions, the F-35 compares favorably to the F-22 in stealth.

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Noise from the F-35 caused concerns in residential areas near potential bases for the aircraft, and residents near two such bases—Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, and Eglin Air Force Base, Florida—requested environmental impact studies in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

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Norway and Australia are funding an adaptation of the Naval Strike Missile for the F-35; designated Joint Strike Missile, two missiles can be carried internally with an additional four externally.

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The F-35's Integrated Power Package performs power and thermal management and integrates environment control, auxiliary power unit, engine starting, and other functions into a single system.

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F-35 is expected to receive propulsion upgrades over its lifecycle to adapt to emerging threats and enable additional capabilities.

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F-35 is designed to require less maintenance than prior stealth aircraft.

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The F-35 has a fibermat radar-absorbent material baked into the skin, which is more durable, easier to work with, and faster to cure than older RAM coatings; similar coatings are being considered for application on older stealth aircraft such as the F-22.

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Skin corrosion on the F-22 led the F-35 using a less galvanic corrosion-inducing skin gap filler, fewer gaps in the airframe skin needing filler, and better drainage.

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F-35 was initially supported by a computerized maintenance management system named Autonomic Logistics Information System.

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In concept, any F-35 can be serviced at any maintenance facility and all parts can be globally tracked and shared as needed.

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The F-35 Integrated Test Force consisted of 18 aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base and Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

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Field testing of the F-35's sensors were conducted during Exercise Northern Edge 2009 and 2011, serving as significant risk-reduction steps.

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In late 2017, the GAO reported the time needed to repair an F-35 part averaged 172 days, which was "twice the program's objective, " and that shortage of spare parts was degrading readiness.

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F-35's operating cost is higher than some older USAF tactical aircraft.

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The F-35 is to be Britain's primary strike aircraft for the next three decades.

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Israel Aerospace Industries has considered a two-seat F-35 concept; an IAI executive noted: "There is a known demand for two seats not only from Israel but from other air forces".

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The F-35 reportedly did not send a distress signal nor did the pilot attempt any recovery maneuvers as it descended at a rapid rate.

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