Tag Archives: F-35A Lightning II

34th Fighter Squadron

Combat-ready F-35A Lightning II multi-role fighter aircraft arrived April 15, 2017, at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, demonstrating U.S. commitment to NATO allies and European territorial integrity.

F-35 Lightning IIs from the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, taxi after landing at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 15, 2017. The fifth generation, multi-role fighter aircraft is deployed here to maximize training opportunities, affirm enduring commitments to NATO allies, and deter any actions that destabilize regional security (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Eli Chevalier)
F-35 Lightning IIs from the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, taxi after landing at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 15, 2017. The fifth generation, multi-role fighter aircraft is deployed here to maximize training opportunities, affirm enduring commitments to NATO allies, and deter any actions that destabilize regional security (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Eli Chevalier)

«The forward presence of F-35s support my priority of having ready and postured forces here in Europe», said Army General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, the U.S. European Command commander and NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe. «These aircraft, plus more importantly, the men and women who operate them, fortifies the capacity and capability of our NATO alliance».

The aircraft are deployed from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and will train with European-based allies.

This long-planned deployment continues to galvanize the U.S. commitment to security and stability throughout Europe. The aircraft and personnel will remain in Europe for several weeks. The F-35A will also forward deploy to maximize training opportunities, strengthen the NATO alliance and gain a broad familiarity of Europe’s diverse operating conditions.

 

Fifth-Generation Fighter

«This is an incredible opportunity for (U.S. Air Forces in Europe) Airmen and our NATO allies to host this first overseas training deployment of the F-35A aircraft», said Air Force General Tod D. Wolters, commander of USAFE and Air Forces Africa. «As we and our joint F-35 partners bring this aircraft into our inventories, it’s important that we train together to integrate into a seamless team capable of defending the sovereignty of allied nations».

The introduction of the premier fifth-generation fighter to Europe brings state-of-the-art sensors, interoperability and a vast array of advanced air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions that will help maintain the fundamental territorial and air sovereignty rights of all nations. The fighter provides unprecedented precision-attack capability against current and emerging threats with unmatched lethality, survivability and interoperability.

The deployment was supported by the Air Mobility Command. Multiple refueling aircraft from four different bases provided more than 400,000 pounds/181,437 kg of fuel during the «tanker bridge» from the U.S. to Europe. Additionally, C-17 Globemaster III and C-5 Galaxy aircraft transported maintenance equipment and personnel to England.

First Japanese F-35A

The F-35 Lightning II program hit another milestone November 28 with the arrival of the first foreign military sales F-35A here. The arrival marked the next step for the international F-35A Lightning II training program as Japan took ownership of the first FMS aircraft to arrive at Luke Air Force Base (AFB).

Lockheed Martin and Japanese Air Self-Defense Force personnel work together to taxi in the arrival of the first foreign military sales F-35A onto the 944th Fighter Wing ramp November 28, 2016, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The arrival marked the next step for the international F-35 training program (U.S. Air Force photo/ Technical Sergeant Louis Vega Jr.)
Lockheed Martin and Japanese Air Self-Defense Force personnel work together to taxi in the arrival of the first foreign military sales F-35A onto the 944th Fighter Wing ramp November 28, 2016, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The arrival marked the next step for the international F-35 training program (U.S. Air Force photo/ Technical Sergeant Louis Vega Jr.)

«Today is a great day for the U.S. Air Force Reserve Command, Luke AFB, the 944th Fighter Wing, and the Japanese Air Self-Defense (Force)», said Colonel Kurt J. Gallegos, the 944th FW commander. «We have a great team of Airmen who have worked hard to set up an outstanding training program and are ready to train our FMS counterparts».

The aircraft was welcomed by a joint delegation from the 944th and 56th Fighter Wings, Lockheed Martin, and Japanese staff.

«Today I am thrilled for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and (Luke AFB)», said Lieutenant Colonel Sean Holahan, the commander of Detachment 2, 944th Operations Group. «The arrival of Japan’s first F-35A marks another important milestone in the steadfast relationship between our two nations, and the beginning of training for an elite cadre of JASDF fighter pilots and maintainers. We put an incredible amount of thought and effort into building the world’s first F-35 foreign military sales training program from the ground up. To see Japan’s first jet on our flightline, surrounded by the men and women who have made this mission possible, is humbling».

The arrival of the first FMS aircraft is the culmination of years of planning and hard work.

«The jet arrival marks the beginning of a new and exciting mission at Luke AFB to train our allies to fly the F-35A», explained Lieutenant Colonel Joe Bemis, the executive officer and resource advisor for Detachment 2, 944th OG. «We have been preparing for this program for years. We have remodeled buildings, built a huge team of professional pilots, maintainers, and administration staff, and created specialized syllabus. We are hopeful that this mission will strengthen relationships between the US and nations that participate in the training».

Over the next several years, Luke AFB will be training FMS pilots from Japan, Israel and South Korea along with partner nations including Australia, Italy, Norway, Turkey, Netherlands, Denmark and Canada.

«This is such an important time in our wing’s history as we pick up the mission to train all FMS F-35 pilots», Gallegos said. «It’s been almost 10 years since our wing has seen aircraft on our flightline. It is an amazing feeling to look outside and see the F-35s out there and know that we are playing such an important and critical role as we build relationships that will enhance our future partnership».

In addition to the Luke AFB is scheduled to have six fighter squadrons and 144 F-35s.

 

Specifications

Length 51.4 feet/15.7 m
Height 14.4 feet/4.38 m
Wingspan 35 feet/10.7 m
Wing area 460 feet2/42.7 m2
Horizontal tail span 22.5 feet/6.86 m
Weight empty 29,300 lbs/13,290 kg
Internal fuel capacity 18,250 lbs/8,278 kg
Weapons payload 18,000 lbs/8,160 kg
Maximum weight 70,000 lbs class/31,751 kg
Standard internal weapons load Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles
Two 2,000-pound/907 kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs
Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings) F135-PW-100
Maximum Power (with afterburner) 43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner) 28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf
Engine Length 220 in/5.59 m
Engine Inlet Diameter 46 in/1.17 m
Engine Maximum Diameter 51 in/1.30 m
Bypass Ratio 0.57
Overall Pressure Ratio 28
Speed (full internal weapons load) Mach 1.6 (~1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)
Combat radius (internal fuel) >590 NM/679 miles/1,093 km
Range (internal fuel) >1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km
Maximum g-rating 9.0

 

Japan F-35A

Senior Japanese and U.S. government officials joined Lockheed Martin to celebrate the roll out of the first Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) F-35A Lightning II, marking a major milestone in Japan’s enhanced national defense and strengthening the future of the U.S-Japan security alliance.

Lockheed Martin and Japan Celebrate Roll Out of Japan Air Self Defense Force’s First F-35A Lightning II
Lockheed Martin and Japan Celebrate Roll Out of Japan Air Self Defense Force’s First F-35A Lightning II

The ceremony was attended by more than 400 guests from both governments, militaries and defense industries.

Kenji Wakamiya, Japan’s State Minister of Defense spoke at the event, saying, «With its low observability and network capability, the F-35 is the most advanced air system with cutting-edge capability as a multi-role fighter. As the security environment surrounding Japan has become increasingly severe, because of its excellence, it is very significant for the defense of Japan to commit to acquiring the F-35 year by year. Given that the United States Government has designated Japan as a regional depot in the Asia-Pacific area, introduction of F-35A to Japan is a perfect example, enhancing the Japan-US alliance».

General Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, JASDF Chief of Air Staff, said, «The F-35A has remarkably advanced system. This highly sophisticated 5th generation fighter will bring a great development to air operations as a game changer. In integration with current JASDF assets, it surely promises to enormously contribute to not only the benefit of our national defense and but also regional stability».

Other distinguished guests attending included: Dr. Hideaki Watanabe, commissioner of Japan’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency, Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, commander of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, and Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin chairman, president and CEO.

«The men and women of Lockheed Martin are honored to bring the exceptional capability of the F-35A to our partners and friends in Japan», said Hewson. «The security alliance between Japan and the United States has been a cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region for generations, and we are proud to continue that legacy of cooperation with the rollout of the first F-35A to the Japan Ministry of Defense and the Japan Air Self Defense Force today».

Japan’s F-35 program includes 42 F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing aircraft, acquired through the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales program. The first four aircraft are built in Fort Worth and the remaining 38 aircraft will be built at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Final Assembly & Check-Out facility in Nagoya, Japan, where aircraft assembly is underway. Maintenance training for the first JASDF F-35A technicians is underway at Eglin AFB, Florida, and the first JASDF F-35A pilots are scheduled to begin training at Luke AFB, Arizona, in November.

Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the F-16 Fighting Falcon and A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 Hornet for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a wide variety of fighters for at least 11 other countries. Following the U.S. Marine Corps’ July 2015 F-35B Initial Operational Capability (IOC) ‘combat-ready’ declaration, the U.S. Air Force declared F-35A IOC on Aug. 2 and the U.S. Navy intends to attain F-35C IOC in 2018. More than 200 fleet-wide F-35s have flown almost 70,000 flight hours, to date.  Japan’s first F-35A aircraft completed its maiden flight from Fort Worth on Aug. 24, piloted by Lockheed Martin’s F-35 test pilot Paul Hattendorf.

Mr. Kenji Wakamiya, Japan’s State Minister of Defense, address the ceremony audience as Japan’s first F-35A aircraft is revealed at the Lockheed Martin’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, September 23. Lockheed Martin photo by Beth Steel
Mr. Kenji Wakamiya, Japan’s State Minister of Defense, address the ceremony audience as Japan’s first F-35A aircraft is revealed at the Lockheed Martin’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, September 23. Lockheed Martin photo by Beth Steel

 

Specifications

Length 51.4 feet/15.7 m
Height 14.4 feet/4.38 m
Wingspan 35 feet/10.7 m
Wing area 460 feet2/42.7 m2
Horizontal tail span 22.5 feet/6.86 m
Weight empty 29,300 lbs/13,290 kg
Internal fuel capacity 18,250 lbs/8,278 kg
Weapons payload 18,000 lbs/8,160 kg
Maximum weight 70,000 lbs class/31,751 kg
Standard internal weapons load Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles
Two 2,000-pound/907 kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs
Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings) F135-PW-100
Maximum Power (with afterburner) 43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner) 28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf
Engine Length 220 in/5.59 m
Engine Inlet Diameter 46 in/1.17 m
Engine Maximum Diameter 51 in/1.30 m
Bypass Ratio 0.57
Overall Pressure Ratio 28
Speed (full internal weapons load) Mach 1.6 (~1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)
Combat radius (internal fuel) >590 NM/679 miles/1,093 km
Range (internal fuel) >1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km
Maximum g-rating 9.0

 

F-35A combat ready

The F-35A Lightning II fifth-generation fighter aircraft was declared ‘combat ready’ by General Hawk Carlisle, the commander of Air Combat Command (ACC), August 2.

F-35A Lightning II aircraft receive fuel from a KC-10 Extender from Travis Air Force Base, California, July 13, 2015, during a flight from England to the U.S. The fighters were returning to Luke AFB, Arizona, after participating in the world's largest air show, the Royal International Air Tattoo (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sergeant Madelyn Brown)
F-35A Lightning II aircraft receive fuel from a KC-10 Extender from Travis Air Force Base, California, July 13, 2015, during a flight from England to the U.S. The fighters were returning to Luke AFB, Arizona, after participating in the world’s largest air show, the Royal International Air Tattoo (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sergeant Madelyn Brown)

Carlisle lauded the aircraft’s performance, noting that the aircraft had met all key criteria for reaching Initial Operational Capability (IOC): Airmen trained, manned and equipped to conduct basic close air support, interdiction and limited suppression/destruction of enemy air defenses in a contested environment with an operational squadron of 12-24 aircraft; the ability to deploy and conduct operational missions using program of record weapons and missions systems; and having all necessary logistics and operational elements in place.

«I am proud to announce this powerful new weapons system has achieved initial combat capability», Carlisle said. «The F-35A will be the most dominant aircraft in our inventory because it can go where our legacy aircraft cannot and provide the capabilities our commanders need on the modern battlefield».

The F-35A Lightning II is the latest addition to ACC’s fleet of deployable and fifth-generation aircraft. It provides air superiority, interdiction, suppression of enemy air defenses and close air support as well as great command and control functions through fused sensors, and it will provide pilots with unprecedented situational awareness of the battlespace that will be more extensive than any single-seat platform in existence.

«Bringing the F-35A to initial combat readiness is a testament to our phenomenal Airmen and the outstanding support of the Joint Program Office and our enterprise partners. This important milestone for our fighter force ensures the United States, along with our allies and international partners, remains prepared to deter, deny, and defeat the full spectrum of growing threats around the globe», added Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James.

Chief of Staff of the Air Force General David L. Goldfein, said that dynamic new capability will benefit the joint warfighter.

«The combat ready F-35A is the latest fifth-generation fighter aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory and provides our nation air dominance in any environment. The F-35A brings an unprecedented combination of lethality, survivability, and adaptability to joint and combined operations, and is ready to deploy and strike well-defended targets anywhere on Earth», Goldfein said. «Today’s declaration of IOC is an important milestone on the road to achieving full warfighting capability for the F-35A».

The 34th Fighter Squadron (FS) of the 388th Fighter Wing (FW), based at Hill Air Force Base (AFB), Utah, is the service’s first operational F-35A Lightning II squadron, having met all the established criteria for initial operational capability including a successful June deployment to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, and a series of eight-aircraft sorties held in mid-July. 34th FS Airmen will fly and maintain the F-35A Lightning II alongside Air Force Reservists from Hill’s 419th Fighter Wing.

«Our Airmen have worked tirelessly to make sure our aircraft are combat ready: meeting challenges head-on and completing all the required milestones», said Colonel David Lyons, the 388th Fighter Wing commander. «We’re very proud that the Air Force has declared us combat ready and we’re prepared to take this aircraft wherever it’s needed in support of our national defense».

Those sentiments were echoed by Colonel David Smith, the 419th FW commander. «It’s an honor to fly and maintain the F-35 with our active-duty counterparts here at Hill», Smith said. «Our units were the first to fly combat-ready F-16s nearly 40 years ago, and we’re very proud to have made history once again in bringing the Air Force’s newest fighter jet to IOC».

 

Specifications

Length 51.4 feet/15.7 m
Height 14.4 feet/4.38 m
Wingspan 35 feet/10.7 m
Wing area 460 feet2/42.7 m2
Horizontal tail span 22.5 feet/6.86 m
Weight empty 29,300 lbs/13,290 kg
Internal fuel capacity 18,250 lbs/8,278 kg
Weapons payload 18,000 lbs/8,160 kg
Maximum weight 70,000 lbs class/31,751 kg
Standard internal weapons load Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles
Two 2,000-pound/907 kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs
Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings) F135-PW-100
Maximum Power (with afterburner) 43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner) 28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf
Engine Length 220 in/5.59 m
Engine Inlet Diameter 46 in/1.17 m
Engine Maximum Diameter 51 in/1.30 m
Bypass Ratio 0.57
Overall Pressure Ratio 28
Speed (full internal weapons load) Mach 1.6 (~1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)
Combat radius (internal fuel) >590 NM/679 miles/1,093 km
Range (internal fuel) >1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km
Maximum g-rating 9.0

 

First F-35 Adir

Israeli and U.S. government leaders joined Lockheed Martin to celebrate the rollout of the first Israeli Air Force F-35A Lightning II, marking a major production milestone for the future of Israel’s national defense.

Israel’s Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman views the cockpit of the first Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-35A Lightning II, known as the «Adir», meaning «Mighty One» in Hebrew, at the Lockheed Martin F-35 production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, June 22
Israel’s Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman views the cockpit of the first Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-35A Lightning II, known as the «Adir», meaning «Mighty One» in Hebrew, at the Lockheed Martin F-35 production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, June 22

«Israel is proud to be the first country in the area to receive and operate it», said Avigdor Liberman, Israel’s Minister of Defense. «The F-35 is the best aircraft in the world and the choice of all our military leadership at its highest level. It is clear and obvious to us and to the entire region that the new F-35, the Adir, will create real deterrence and enhance our capabilities for a long time».

Brigadier General Tal Kelman, IAF Chief of Staff said, «As a pilot who has flown more than 30 years in a great variety of aircraft, I had the privilege of flying the F-35 simulator in Fort Worth and it was like holding the future in my hands. The unique combination of split-edge technology, lethality and the amazing man-machine interface will lead the world to the fifth generation».

Joining the Minister at the ceremony, attended by more than 400 guests from government, the military and industry, were the Honorable U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro; Minister Tzachi Hanegbi of Israel’s Office of the Prime Minister; Heidi Grant, Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Air Force for International Affairs; Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and Texas State Congressman Craig Goldman.

«We’re honored to partner with Israel and help strengthen the deep and lasting partnership between our two nations», said Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO at the ceremony. «The F-35 will help Israel remain a beacon of strength and stability in the region and support a safe and secure homeland for generations to come».

Israel’s F-35, called Adir – which means «Mighty One» in Hebrew – will be a significant addition to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East region, with its advanced capability to defeat emerging threats, including advanced missiles and heavily-defended airspace. The F-35 combines advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment support.

Israel’s program of record is 33 F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing, or CTOL, aircraft, acquired through the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Israel’s contribution to the F-35 program includes Israel Aerospace Industries F-35A wing production; Elbit Systems Ltd. work on the Generation III helmet-mounted display system, which all F-35 pilots fleet-wide will wear; and Elbit Systems-Cyclone F-35 center fuselage composite components production.

Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the F-16 Fighting Falcon and A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 Hornet for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least 11 other countries. Following the U.S. Marine Corps’ July 2015 combat-ready Initial Operational Capability (IOC) declaration, the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy intend to attain service IOC this year and in 2018, respectively. More than 170 delivered F-35s have flown more than 60,000 flight hours, fleet-wide.

Lockheed Martin has rolled out the first F-35A fighter for Israel at its F-35 factory in Fort Worth, Texas. Israel has 33 F-35As on order, the first two of which will fly to Israel in id-December for modification and upgrade
Lockheed Martin has rolled out the first F-35A fighter for Israel at its F-35 factory in Fort Worth, Texas. Israel has 33 F-35As on order, the first two of which will fly to Israel in id-December for modification and upgrade

 

Specifications

Length 51.4 feet/15.7 m
Height 14.4 feet/4.38 m
Wingspan 35 feet/10.7 m
Wing area 460 feet2/42.7 m2
Horizontal tail span 22.5 feet/6.86 m
Weight empty 29,300 lbs/13,290 kg
Internal fuel capacity 18,250 lbs/8,278 kg
Weapons payload 18,000 lbs/8,160 kg
Maximum weight 70,000 lbs class/31,751 kg
Standard internal weapons load Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles
Two 2,000-pound/907 kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs
Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings) F135-PW-100
Maximum Power (with afterburner) 43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner) 28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf
Engine Length 220 in/5.59 m
Engine Inlet Diameter 46 in/1.17 m
Engine Maximum Diameter 51 in/1.30 m
Bypass Ratio 0.57
Overall Pressure Ratio 28
Speed (full internal weapons load) Mach 1.6 (~1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)
Combat radius (internal fuel) >590 NM/679 miles/1,093 km
Range (internal fuel) >1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km
Maximum g-rating 9.0

 

F-35 drops GBU-12

Airmen from the 388th and 419th fighter wings dropped laser-guided bombs at the Utah Test and Training Range the week of February 25, marking the first time an F-35 Lightning II combat unit has deployed weapons from the F-35A.

Lt. Col. George Watkins, the 34th Fighter Squadron commander, drops a GBU-12 laser-guided bomb from an F-35A Lightning II at the Utah Test and Training Range February 25. The 34th FS is the Air Force's first combat unit to employ munitions from the F-35A (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Haseltine)
Lt. Col. George Watkins, the 34th Fighter Squadron commander, drops a GBU-12 laser-guided bomb from an F-35A Lightning II at the Utah Test and Training Range February 25. The 34th FS is the Air Force’s first combat unit to employ munitions from the F-35A (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Haseltine)

Lieutenant Colonel George Watkins, the 34th Fighter Squadron commander, said dropping weapons from the F-35 allows pilots to more fully engage the aircraft and confirm that everything works as planned. «This is significant because we’re building the confidence of our pilots by actually dropping something off the airplane instead of simulating weapon employment», Watkins said.

Air Force F-35s have dropped weapons in test environments, but this is the first time it’s been done on jets designed to deploy once the Air Force declares initial operational capability, which it plans to do between August and December. IOC will be announced when the Air Force deems the F-35 combat capable.

Lieutenant Colonel Darrin Dronoff, the director of Hill’s F-35 Program Integration Office, said that while this achievement is a significant step toward Air Force IOC, the milestone goes beyond that mark. «The pilots and weapons loaders in the 388th and 419th fighter wings are perfecting their skills not only to prove aircraft capabilities, but they’ll also be the Airmen called upon to take the F-35 to combat, whenever that call may come», he said.

Hill’s F-35 pilots will begin flying the F-35 in four-ship formations, which is the standard configuration flown in contested combat scenarios, as early as March.

MBDA delivers ASRAAM missiles for F-35 integration
MBDA delivers ASRAAM missiles for F-35 integration

 

Specifications

Length 51.4 feet/15.7 m
Height 14.4 feet/4.38 m
Wingspan 35 feet/10.7 m
Wing area 460 feet2/42.7 m2
Horizontal tail span 22.5 feet/6.86 m
Weight empty 29,300 lbs/13,290 kg
Internal fuel capacity 18,250 lbs/8,278 kg
Weapons payload 18,000 lbs/8,160 kg
Maximum weight 70,000 lbs class/31,751 kg
Standard internal weapons load Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles
Two 2,000-pound/907 kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs
Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings) F135-PW-100
Maximum Power (with afterburner) 43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner) 28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf
Engine Length 220 in/5.59 m
Engine Inlet Diameter 46 in/1.17 m
Engine Maximum Diameter 51 in/1.30 m
Bypass Ratio 0.57
Overall Pressure Ratio 28
Speed (full internal weapons load) Mach 1.6 (~1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)
Combat radius (internal fuel) >590 NM/679 miles/1,093 km
Range (internal fuel) >1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km
Maximum g-rating 9.0
AF-1, of the 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California, became the first F-35 to fire the AIM-9X missile January 12, 2016 (Lockheed Martin photo/Chad Bellay)
AF-1, of the 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California, became the first F-35 to fire the AIM-9X missile January 12, 2016 (Lockheed Martin photo/Chad Bellay)

F-35 fires AIM-9X

An F-35 Lightning II fighter jet from the 461st Flight Test Squadron launched an AIM-9X missile for the first time over the Pacific Sea Test Range January 12.

AF-1, of the 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California, became the first F-35 to fire the AIM-9X missile January 12, 2016 (Lockheed Martin photo/Chad Bellay)
AF-1, of the 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California, became the first F-35 to fire the AIM-9X missile January 12, 2016 (Lockheed Martin photo/Chad Bellay)

The flight sciences aircraft, AF-1, of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Integrated Test Force, was piloted by David Nelson, the Lockheed Martin chief F-35 Lightning II test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

The AIM-9X is an advanced infrared missile and the newest of the Sidewinder family of short-range air-to-air missiles carried on a wide range of fighter jets.

The missile was launched at 6,000 feet/1,829 m.

The shot paves the way for the F-35 Lightning II to utilize the weapon’s high off-boresight and targeting capabilities, increasing lethality in the visual arena.

 

Specifications

Length 51.4 feet/15.7 m
Height 14.4 feet/4.38 m
Wingspan 35 feet/10.7 m
Wing area 460 feet2/42.7 m2
Horizontal tail span 22.5 feet/6.86 m
Weight empty 29,300 lbs/13,290 kg
Internal fuel capacity 18,250 lbs/8,278 kg
Weapons payload 18,000 lbs/8,160 kg
Maximum weight 70,000 lbs class/31,751 kg
Standard internal weapons load Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles
Two 2,000-pound/907 kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs
Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings) F135-PW-100
Maximum Power (with afterburner) 43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner) 28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf
Engine Length 220 in/5.59 m
Engine Inlet Diameter 46 in/1.17 m
Engine Maximum Diameter 51 in/1.30 m
Bypass Ratio 0.57
Overall Pressure Ratio 28
Speed (full internal weapons load) Mach 1.6 (~1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)
Combat radius (internal fuel) >590 NM/679 miles/1,093 km
Range (internal fuel) >1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km
Maximum g-rating 9.0

 

«Adir» for Israel

Lockheed Martin and Israeli Ministry of Defense officials commemorated the beginning of the first F-35A «Adir» (meaning «mighty one» in Hebrew) manufactured for Israel here January 7.

First F-35A «Adir» for Israel Taking Shape in Fort Worth
First F-35A «Adir» for Israel Taking Shape in Fort Worth

The aircraft, designated as F-35A aircraft AS-1, officially began its mate process, where the four major components of the 5th Generation fighter aircraft are joined together in the Electronic Mate and Assembly Station to form the aircraft’s structure. AS-1 will continue its assembly here and is expected to roll out of the factory in June and be delivered to the Israeli Air Force (IAF) later this year.

«These 5th Generation aircraft will greatly enhance the IAF’s ability to defend the State of Israel from the serious threats we face», said Aharon Marmarosh, director, Israel Ministry of Defense Mission in New York.

«Today marks a new beginning for tactical aviation for Israel», said Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin F-35 program manager. «Lockheed Martin is proud of our long and storied relationship with Israel’s armed forces. The F-35A Adir strengthens our solid relationship with the IAF and ensures that the Israeli aerospace industry will remain strong for decades to come».

Israel has contracted for 33 F-35A Adir Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft through the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales program. Israel’s contribution to the F-35 program includes Israel Aerospace Industries F-35A wing production; Elbit Systems Ltd. work on the Generation III helmet-mounted display system, which all F-35 pilots fleet-wide will wear; and Elbit Systems-Cyclone F-35 center fuselage composite components production.

The F-35A Adir will be a significant addition to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East, with the advanced capability to defeat emerging threats, such as advanced missiles and heavily-defended airspace through its combination of low-observability and sensor fusion. The F-35A Lightning II, a 5th generation fighter, combines advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.

First Italian F-35

The first delivery of an F-35 outside the United States happened December 3 at the F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility in Cameri, Italy. The first Italian F-35A Lightning II for the Italian armed forces, known as AL-1, marked a production milestone for Italy’s national defense and aerospace industry.

Lieutenant General Pasquale Preziosa, Chief of the Italian Air Force, welcomes the first Italian F-35A into the Italian armed forces at a December 3 acceptance ceremony in Cameri
Lieutenant General Pasquale Preziosa, Chief of the Italian Air Force, welcomes the first Italian F-35A into the Italian armed forces at a December 3 acceptance ceremony in Cameri

«When Leonardo DaVinci first envisioned human flight as an Italian creation, there is no way he could have imagined what we have here today», said Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, F-35 Joint Program Executive Officer. «The F-35 aircraft built here in Cameri will take flight on the wings of Italian craftsmanship, ingenuity, and skill and will help build the first global fleet of fifth generation fighters».

Italy is the sixth nation to receive an F-35 joining Australia, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom and the United States with jets in their service’s inventory.

The F-35s being assembled and delivered at the Italian FACO will transition to Italy’s Aeronautica Militare (Air Force) and Marina Militare (Navy). AL-1 first rolled out of the production facility in March with first flight September 7, one month ahead of schedule. Italy’s first two pilots have begun F-35 flight training at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, where Cameri-built F-35As will be delivered in 2016 to support international pilot training.

«This is a monumental achievement for the F-35 program», said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin F-35 Program General Manager. «The F-35 provides Italy’s aerospace industry with high technology work, ensuring the future health and competitiveness for their defense industry. To date, Italian industry has contracts worth more than $1 billion, along with opportunities for additional work over the life of the program».

The first two operational F-35A Lightning II aircraft arrive at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, September 2, 2015. The jets were piloted by Colonel David Lyons, 388th Fighter Wing commander, and Lieutenant Colonel Yosef Morris, 34th Fighter Squadron director of operations. Hill will receive up to 70 additional combat-coded F-35s on a staggered basis through 2019. The jets will be flown and maintained by Hill Airmen assigned to the active-duty 388th Fighter Wing and its Reserve component 419th Fighter Wing (U.S. Air Force photo/Alex R. Lloyd)
The first two operational F-35A Lightning II aircraft arrive at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, September 2, 2015. The jets were piloted by Colonel David Lyons, 388th Fighter Wing commander, and Lieutenant Colonel Yosef Morris, 34th Fighter Squadron director of operations. Hill will receive up to 70 additional combat-coded F-35s on a staggered basis through 2019. The jets will be flown and maintained by Hill Airmen assigned to the active-duty 388th Fighter Wing and its Reserve component 419th Fighter Wing (U.S. Air Force photo/Alex R. Lloyd)

 

Specifications

Length 51.4 feet/15.7 m
Height 14.4 feet/4.38 m
Wingspan 35 feet/10.7 m
Wing area 460 feet2/42.7 m2
Horizontal tail span 22.5 feet/6.86 m
Weight empty 29,300 lbs/13,290 kg
Internal fuel capacity 18,250 lbs/8,278 kg
Weapons payload 18,000 lbs/8,160 kg
Maximum weight 70,000 lbs class/31,751 kg
Standard internal weapons load Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles
Two 2,000-pound/907 kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs
Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings) F135-PW-100
Maximum Power (with afterburner) 43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner) 28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf
Engine Length 220 in/5.59 m
Engine Inlet Diameter 46 in/1.17 m
Engine Maximum Diameter 51 in/1.30 m
Bypass Ratio 0.57
Overall Pressure Ratio 28
Speed (full internal weapons load) Mach 1.6 (~1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)
Combat radius (internal fuel) >590 NM/679 miles/1,093 km
Range (internal fuel) >1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km
Maximum g-rating 9.0
F-35A test pilot Maj Charles «Flak» Trickey fires the first aerial gun test burst of the GAU-22/A 25-mm gun from F-35A aircraft AF-2
F-35A test pilot Maj Charles «Flak» Trickey fires the first aerial gun test burst of the GAU-22/A 25-mm gun from F-35A aircraft AF-2

Aerial Gun Test

The F-35A Lightning II completed the first three airborne gunfire bursts from its internal Gun Airborne Unit (GAU)-22/A 25-mm Gatling gun system during a California test flight, October 30. This milestone was the first in a series of test flights to functionally evaluate the in-flight operation of the F-35A’s internal 25-mm gun throughout its employment envelope.

F-35A test pilot Maj Charles «Flak» Trickey fires the first aerial gun test burst of the GAU-22/A 25-mm gun from F-35A aircraft AF-2
F-35A test pilot Maj Charles «Flak» Trickey fires the first aerial gun test burst of the GAU-22/A 25-mm gun from F-35A aircraft AF-2

Three bursts of one 30 rounds and two 60 rounds each were fired from the aircraft’s four-barrel, 25-millimeter Gatling gun. In integrating the weapon into the stealthy F 35A Lightning II airframe, the gun must be kept hidden behind closed doors to reduce its radar cross section until the trigger is pulled.

F-35A Lightning II test aircraft AF-2, a loads-instrumented jet, underwent an extensive structural modification at Edwards Air Force Base, California to a fully production representative internal gun configuration. The first phase of test execution consisted of 13 ground gunfire events over the course of three months to verify the integration of the gun into the F-35A Lightning II. Once verified, the team was cleared to begin this second phase of testing, with the goal of evaluating the gun’s performance and integration with the airframe during airborne gunfire in various flight conditions and aircraft configurations.

«The successful aerial gun test sortie was a culmination of several years’ planning, which intensified in the first half of 2015 at the Edwards F-35 Integrated Test Force (ITF) Flight Test Squadron with a team of Air Force, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman personnel», said Mike Glass, Edwards ITF flight test director. «The results of this testing will be used in future blocks of testing, where the accuracy and mission effectiveness capabilities will be evaluated».

The 25-mm gun is embedded in the F-35A’s left wing and is designed to be integrated in a way to maintain the F-35’s very low observable criteria. It will provide pilots with the ability to engage air-to-ground and air-to-air targets. The first phase of F-35A Lightning II gun testing started in June, when initial shots were fired from the ground at the Edwards Air Force Flight Test Center’s gun harmonizing range.

The gun system will be further tested with a production F-35A Lightning II next year for integration with the jet’s full mission systems capabilities. The test team will demonstrate the gun’s effectiveness in both air-to-air and air-to-ground employment when integrated with the next generation fighter’s sensor fusion software, which will provide targeting information to the pilot through the helmet mounted display. At the end of the program’s system development and demonstration phase in 2017, the F-35A Lightning II will have an operational gun.

The first two operational F-35A Lightning II aircraft arrive at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, September 2, 2015. The jets were piloted by Colonel David Lyons, 388th Fighter Wing commander, and Lieutenant Colonel Yosef Morris, 34th Fighter Squadron director of operations. Hill will receive up to 70 additional combat-coded F-35s on a staggered basis through 2019. The jets will be flown and maintained by Hill Airmen assigned to the active-duty 388th Fighter Wing and its Reserve component 419th Fighter Wing (U.S. Air Force photo/Alex R. Lloyd)
The first two operational F-35A Lightning II aircraft arrive at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, September 2, 2015. The jets were piloted by Colonel David Lyons, 388th Fighter Wing commander, and Lieutenant Colonel Yosef Morris, 34th Fighter Squadron director of operations. Hill will receive up to 70 additional combat-coded F-35s on a staggered basis through 2019. The jets will be flown and maintained by Hill Airmen assigned to the active-duty 388th Fighter Wing and its Reserve component 419th Fighter Wing (U.S. Air Force photo/Alex R. Lloyd)

 

Specifications

Length 51.4 feet/15.7 m
Height 14.4 feet/4.38 m
Wingspan 35 feet/10.7 m
Wing area 460 feet2/42.7 m2
Horizontal tail span 22.5 feet/6.86 m
Weight empty 29,300 lbs/13,290 kg
Internal fuel capacity 18,250 lbs/8,278 kg
Weapons payload 18,000 lbs/8,160 kg
Maximum weight 70,000 lbs class/31,751 kg
Standard internal weapons load Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles
Two 2,000-pound/907 kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs
Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings) F135-PW-100
Maximum Power (with afterburner) 43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner) 28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf
Engine Length 220 in/5.59 m
Engine Inlet Diameter 46 in/1.17 m
Engine Maximum Diameter 51 in/1.30 m
Bypass Ratio 0.57
Overall Pressure Ratio 28
Speed (full internal weapons load) Mach 1.6 (~1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)
Combat radius (internal fuel) >590 NM/679 miles/1,093 km
Range (internal fuel) >1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km
Maximum g-rating 9.0

 

The gun will provide operational F-35A pilots the ability to engage air-to-ground or air-to-air weapon targets, in addition to beyond visual range air-to-air missiles and precision-guided air-to-ground weapons