No fighter in the history of military aviation comes close to the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter – a truly transformational weapon system that provides quantum leaps in survivability and lethality.
* Provides the United States and allied governments with an affordable, stealthy 5TH generation fighter for the 21st century
* Brings stealth capability that is integrated throughout the aircraft with embedded antennas, aligned edges and special coatings and materials
* Meets multiple service requirements with a single-engine supersonic multirole fighter
* Conducts air-to-air and air-to-ground combat missions simultaneously with near impunity
* Carries a comprehensive sensor package that integrates vast amounts of battlespace information with allied forces in the air, on the ground, at sea or in space
The single-engine F-35 Lightning II will be manufactured in three variants:
* Conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) for the U.S. Air Force
* Carrier variant (CV) for the U.S. Navy
* Short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) for the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.K. Royal Air Force and Royal Navy
With greatly increased reliability and ease of maintenance, the F-35 joins the world's only other 5TH generation fighter, the F-22 Raptor, in defining the ultimate in fighter performance.
The F-35 Lightning II's successful first flight occurred Dec. 15, 2006. Flight testing continues to advance full development of this 5TH generation fighter.
Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Steve Long takes off from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., in an F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter on Tuesday, Jan. 26. The flight marked the first time an active-duty service pilot from the United Kingdom had flown an F-35.
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