Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II: Specs, Price, Photos & Details. The F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF), is being created by the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company for the US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and the British Royal Navy. This hidden and supersonic multiplane fighter was called the F-35 Lightning II in July 2006. The JSF was constructed in three variations: conventional takeoff and landing aircraft (CTOL) for the US Air Force; carrier variation (CV) for the US Navy; and short takeoff aircraft and vertical landings (STOVL) for the US Marine Corps and Royal Navy. A 70% -90% similarity is needed for all versions.
The classification of fighter planes by “generation” began with the first subsonic jet towards the end of World War II, with each new generation reflecting major advances in technology and capability. The F-35 Lightning II is described as the 5th Generation fighter, which combines sophisticated stealth capabilities with the speed and agility of fighter aircraft, fully incorporated sensor information, network-supported operations, sophisticated logistics and preservation.
The supersonic and multi-role F-35 represents a breakthrough in air dominance with increased levels of lethality and ability to survive in hostile and anti-access airspace environments.
The F-35 was made taking into consideration the entire battlefield, providing new flexibility and capabilities for the United States and its allies. Dependence on every single capability – electronic attacks, stealth, etc. – not enough for future success and ability to survive. Missions traditionally carried out by special aircraft – air-to-air battles, air-to-ground attacks, electronic attacks, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance – can now be carried out by the F-35 squadron.
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II First Flight
The F-35C took off on its first flight in November 2011. The F-35A fighter aircraft was sent to Eglin Air Force Base in October 2011 and was in functional testing; The F-35B was inaugurated in October 2011.
The first F-35 flight was powered by a GE Rolls-Royce F136 engine. The critical design review was completed in February 2008. Lockheed Martin introduced that, following concerns over the weight of the STOVL F-35B, design changes had reduced the aircraft’s weight by 1,225 kg while increasing driving force efficiency and reducing obstacles. Severe requirements will also require an internal weapon space that is smaller than the other versions.
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Engine
The initial production great deal of the three versions will be powered by the F-135 Pratt and Whitney turbofan engines, a derivative of the F119 mounted on the F-22. The following production aircraft will be supported by F135 or F-136 turbofans established by General Electric and Rolls-Royce. In the 2007 US Military Budget, published in February 2006, no funds were allocated for the development of the F-136 engine. The US Congress chose to refund funds for the F-136 in October 2006.
Each machine will be equipped with two BAE systems, the electronic authority’s full digital control system (FADEC). Hamilton Sundstrand provides a gearbox.
On the F-35B, the engine is coupled with a drive fan system which is driven by a shaft for the STOVL drive. The counter-swivel lifting fan, established by Rolls-Royce Defense, can produce thrust of more than 20,000 lb. Doors mounted above and below the fan are vertically open when the fins spin up to provide vertical lift.
The main engine has a three-swivel exhaust nozzle. The nozzle, which is equipped with two roll control channels on the inboard part of the wing, along with a vertical lifting fan provides the required STOVL capability.
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Specifications
The F-35 combines the characteristics of the 5th Generation fighter – innovative stealth, incorporated avionics, sensor fusion and superior logistical support – with the most powerful and comprehensive incorporated sensor package of all fighter aircraft in history. Sophisticated stealth F-35 allows pilots to penetrate areas without being detected by radar that can not be avoided by old fighters.
The ability of Sophisticated Electronic Warfare (EW) enables F-35 pilots to find and track enemy forces, jam radar and disrupt attacks with unparalleled effectiveness. Sophisticated avionics gives pilots real-time access to battle space information with 360 degree coverage and unmatched capabilities to dominate the tactical environment. Data collected by sensors on the F-35 will soon be shared with commanders at sea, airborne or on land, providing an instant and very loyal view of the ongoing operation – making the F-35 a powerful multiplier while increasing the operating coalition. This system allows the F-35 pilot to reach targets that are well maintained and suppress enemy radar.
The highly evident F-35 stealth (VLO) allows it to enter the air area that is maintained safely without being seen by radar which can not be avoided by the 4th Generation and previous fighters. The combination of stealth features, active radar-scanned radar (AESA) technology, and the ability of aircraft to carry complete components from weapons and fuel stores internally allows F-35 pilots to engage ground targets at longer distances without being detected and tracked., using precision guided ammunition and air-to-air radar guided missiles to successfully complete the air-to-ground mission. In this “clean” configuration, the F-35 will enter the air combat room first, clearing air-dominated roads for follow-up coalition forces to operate with relative impunity.
Sensors, information and incorporated F-35 weapons systems benefit pilots compared to the potential of front-line combat aircraft. Compared to 5th Generation fighters such as the F-35 and F-22, legacy aircraft have a larger radar cross section (RCS), which means they can be more easily detected by enemy radar. In air combat, legacy aircraft have a relatively equal chance of detecting and engaging with one another, while 5th Generation fighter pilots can see enemy aircraft first and take decisive action and turn off from standby distance. The ability to see and not be seen is redefining the previous generation’s air-to-air tactics.
By leveraging the benefits of stealth, advanced sensors, and data fusion that provides enhanced pilot situational awareness, F-35 pilots can fly important ISR missions with data capture that is more sophisticated than previous fighter planes. The F-35 has the most powerful and comprehensive incorporated sensor package of all warplanes in history, giving pilots 360 degree access to “real time” battlefield information. Information collected by the F-35 sensor can be safely shared with commanders at sea, airborne or on land, providing a comprehensive view of ongoing operations.
Most F-35 electronic warfare and ISR capabilities are implemented by core processors that can do more than 400 billion operations per second. This core processor collects data from a series of secret electronic warfare, created by BAE Systems, to identify enemy radar and electronic warfare emissions and, as occurs with eight sensors Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) provides 360 degree pilot coverage, recommends which targets who must be attacked and whether he must use kinetic or electronic means to eliminate or eliminate threats.
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Cockpit and Avionics
Cockpit and avionics systems from BAE Systems, Honeywell and Raytheon
The L-3 Display System is establishing a panoramic cockpit display system, which will include two active 10in × 8in liquid crystal displays and a screen management computer.
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Variants
The F-35 Lightning II family includes three versions – all one-seat jets: the F-35A variation taking off and landing (CTOL), the F-35B short take-off (STOVL) version, and the F-35C (CV) carrier variation.
The three variations of the F-35 have similar performance characteristics, and are mainly distinguished by different basic requirements. As a result, the F-35B and F-35C variations have a unique way to take off and land.
Variations between models allow military forces to achieve special-service mission capabilities, while still taking benefit of economies of scale resulting from parts and processes that are common to all three variations. The three versions are supersonic, low-observable stealth fighter aircraft which all have the same sophisticated avionics that are needed to carry out multirol missions and F-35 preservation technology support.
The conventional F-35A takeoff and landing variation (CTOL) is developed to operate from conventional runways, and is the only version to carry internal cannons. The F-35A will be the most common variation of the F-35. The US Air Force and the majority of our allied air forces and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) countries will operate the F-35A, replacing their 3rd and 4th generation aircraft.
Variations of the F-35B’s vertical takeoff model (STOVL) model are developed to operate from a simple base, a short field, and various air-capable vessels operating near frontline combat zones. The F-35B can also take off and land conventionally from a longer runway at the main base.
For the first time in the history of US Navy flights, stealth capabilities that dodge radar came to the deck of the aircraft carrier. The carrier variant F-35C (CV) is the first Navy stealth fighter and the only 5th generation in the world, a long distance stealth fighter developed and made explicit for aircraft carrier operations.
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Price and Orders
The F-35 Lightning II was made to become an affordable 5th Generation fighter, utilizing economies of scale and similarities between the three versions. Since the first F-35 was built, production costs fell by around 60 percent.
For the eleventh year straight, the cost of the F-35A was lowered. The price of the F-35A unit, including aircraft, engines and costs, is $ 89.2 million. This represents a 5.4 percent reduction from the $ 94.3 million cost for the F-35 in Low-Rate Initial Production Lot 10 (LRIP 10), and also places the F-35A at or less than the price of the previous plane. In LRIP 11, the cost of the F-35B unit was reduced to $ 115.5 million. This represents a 5.7 percent reduction from the $ 122.4 million cost for takeoff and landing variations in LRIP 10. The cost of the F-35C unit was lowered to $ 107.7 million. This represents an 11.1 percent reduction in the cost of $ 121.2 million for operator variations in LRIP 10.
LRIP 11 Aircraft costs (including jets, engines and fees) are:
- 102 F-35AS CTOL – US $ 89.2 million (5.4% reduction from Lot 10).
- 25 F-35Bs STOVL – US $ 115.5 million (5.7% reduction from Lot 10).
- 14 F-35Cs CV – US $ 107.7 million (11.1% reduction from Lot 10).
- U.S. Government, Lockheed Martin and the F-35 industry team continue to collaborate to reduce F-35 costs for future production land.
In 2014, the Department of Defense introduced an industry-led effort called “Blueprint for Affordability” and expanded efforts in 2016 from a $ 1.8 billion saving initiative to $ 4 billion. The aim of these programs is to push the cost of the F-35A to less than $ 85 million by 2019, where it will amount, or less, than any 4th generation fighter.
The F-35 program includes flight tests that overlap and initial production known as concurrency. Concurrency allows stable production and speed of supply chains and faster delivery of F-35s to war fighters.
Because of concurrency, the initial production aircraft needed several retrofits to implement changes based upon flight test findings. As the flight test program matures, the risk of new discoveries decreases. When risk decreases, fewer retrofits are needed in many later productions. In June 2013, the Ministry of Defense’s concurrency cost estimate fell $ 500 million for the first five production lots as a result of more accurate estimation methods and proactive efforts to make reform more efficient.
The Lockheed Martin and F-35 Joint Program Office shared the cost of concurrency through the first four production lots. Starting with Low Level Initial Production 5, Lockheed Martin takes a larger share of the known concurrency costs.
The USAF ordered 32 new F-35A aircraft in 2010. The USMC ordered 16 F-35B aircraft and considered more than 13 aircraft. USN ordered seven F-35B aircraft in 2009, and 12 F-35s were sent to the US in 2011.
The UK ordered two F-35Bs in 2009 and one F-35C in 2010. The Netherlands ordered three F-35A aircraft, one in 2010 and two in 2011. Australia decided to buy 14 F-35A aircraft in October 2010.
Israel ordered 20 F-35I variations in 2010 after the Israeli Government’s decision to choose the F-35 as the future generation aircraft. In June 2011, the Norwegian Parliament unanimously approved the funding of four F-35 Lightning II training jets to stabilize the requirements of Norwegian air combat capabilities down the road.
Canada also revealed the choice of F-35 aircraft for future combat requirements. The Italian Parliament has approved the purchase of 131 F-35 aircraft and construction of final assembly facilities at the Cameri Air Base.