Tag Archives: F-35A Lightning II

gatewayONE

On December 9, the joint force took another step toward achieving a military Internet of Things (IoT) when fifth-generation aircraft overcame long standing connectivity limitations to share actionable operational data in their native secure digital «languages» with and through multiple sources for the first time.

gatewayONE
A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor and F-35A Lightning II fly in formation with the XQ-58A Valkyrie low-cost unmanned aerial vehicle over the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground testing range, Arizona, during a series of tests December 9, 2020. This integrated test follows a series of gatewayONE ground tests that began during the inaugural Department of the Air Force on-ramp last year in December (U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sergeant James Cason)

This test was the latest demonstration of the transformative warfighting impact of the open architecture underpinning the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS).

The joint effort included a Marine Corps F-35B variant and the Air Force F-22 Raptor and F-35A Lightning II variant flying with an attritableONE XQ-58A Valkyrie for the first time. The primary tests took place at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona with preparatory tests at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

Lieutenant Colonel Kate Stowe, gatewayONE program manager at the Air Force Lifecycle Management Center, set out with 18 test objectives and successfully achieved nine.

«Testing is all about pushing the limits of what’s possible, finding out where the toughest challenges are, and adapting creative solutions to overcoming difficult problem sets», Stowe said. «The real win of the day was seeing the gatewayONE establish a secure two-way translational data path across multiple platforms and multiple domains. That’s the stuff ABMS is all about».

Fifth-generation fighters are typically limited to communicating with each other and to command and control centers via legacy tactical data connections, not in their native, but incompatible digital «languages» – Multifunctional Advanced Data Link for F-35 Lightning II and Intra-Flight Data Link for the F-22 Raptor. Not only can gatewayONE translate between those formats, in this test it moved data that is normally relegated to an operations center or tactical ground node, directly pushing it into the cockpit at the edge of the multi-domain battlespace for the first time.

Additionally, the test pushed the position data of each platform outside of the aircraft’s close-proximity formation through gatewayONE, which enables battle managers on the ground or in the air to better orchestrate operations. The gatewayONE payload also passed tracks or cues from ground operators to both fighters and passed a cue from the F-35A Lightning II to the F-22 Raptor for the first time. These bi-directional communications pathways occurred in the platforms’ native digital «languages» and the data was displayed through the aircrafts’ organic systems.

«The gatewayONE payload really showed what’s possible and helped us take a big step towards achieving (Joint All-Domain Command and Control)», said Lieutenant Colonel Eric Wright, a 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron F-35 pilot. «This critical capability provides additional connections between our advanced fighters and other forces and battle managers across all domains. The future is promising, and gatewayONE will allow the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II to connect to and feed data sources they’ve never before accessed. Those future connections will bring additional battlefield awareness into the cockpit and enable integrated fires across U.S. forces».

Additional successful tests during the week included establishing a communications pathway between the KC-46 Pegasus tanker and a ground node using commercial internet routing standards over the Tactical Targeting Network Technology waveform and the F-35B Lightning II sending full-motion video to a ground controller.

«If fifth-generation platforms are going to be quarterbacks of a joint-penetrating team, we have to be able to communicate with those quarterbacks in an operationally relevant manner and enable data sharing between them, to them, and from them. For years people said it couldn’t be done. Today the team turned another page toward making the impossible possible», said Preston Dunlap, Air and Space Force’s chief architect. «In just 12 months, the team has opened the door to a world where we can put the power of an operations center into the cockpit at the tactical edge».

The December 9 flight test included the attritableONE platform, also known as the XQ-58 Valkyrie, a lower-cost, unmanned, aerial vehicle. The rocket-launched Valkyrie successfully conducted a semi-autonomous flight alongside the F-22 Raptor and F-35s for the first time. The gatewayONE payload was integrated into the Valkyrie for its maiden voyage with the fifth-generation fighters to conduct an initial test of gateway capabilities from an attritable platform; however, shortly after takeoff, the communications payloads lost connectivity and those test objectives were unable to be accomplished.

The acquisition team – comprised of Air Force Research Laboratory and Air Force Life Cycle Management Center personnel working in conjunction with Eglin Air Force Base, Florida’s 46th Test Squadron – came together to make this test a success and empower the platforms involved with capability desired by the warfighter and operator.

This integrated test follows a series of gatewayONE ground tests that began during the inaugural Department of the Air Force architecture on-ramp last year in December.

ABMS is the Air Force and Space Force’s priority program to develop the military’s first Internet of Things and is the services’ primary contribution to Joint All-Domain Command and Control, a Defense Department-led effort to securely connect all elements of the U.S. military–every sensor and shooter–across land, air, sea, space and cyberspace.

Fifth-Generation Fighters

On January 31, 2020, Poland signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance to purchase 32 F-35A Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) Aircraft produced by Lockheed Martin, and 33 Pratt & Whitney F-135 Engines.

General Jeff Harrigian, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, presents Major General Jacek Pszczola, Inspector of the Polish Air Force, with an official invitation to the European F-35 Users Group, in Dęblin, Poland, January 31, 2020 (USAFE photo)

The supersonic F-35A Lightning II represents a quantum leap in air dominance capability with enhanced lethality and survivability in hostile, anti-access airspace environments.

The United States’ offer to Poland for 32 F-35A Lightning II multi-role aircraft is valued at $4.6 billion.

The United States is providing a Total Package Approach that not only includes delivery of the 32 aircraft, but also provides aircraft, pilot and maintenance support training; advanced flight simulators, and ongoing aircraft maintenance; and a robust logistics support system.

A request for quotation

According to Reuters, Poland plans to buy 32 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighters to replace Soviet-era jets, Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Tuesday (May 28, 2019), amid the growing assertiveness of neighbour Russia.

A Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II aircraft takes part in flying display during the 52nd Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, June 25, 2017 (REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo)

«Today we sent a request for quotation (LOR) to our American partners regarding the purchase of 32 F-35A Lightning II aircraft along with a logistics and training package», Blaszczak tweeted.

The United States is expected to expand sales of F-35 Lightning II fighters to five nations including Poland as European allies bulk up their defenses in the face of a strengthening Russia, the Pentagon said last month.

Poland is among NATO member countries that spend at least 2% of GDP on defence. Warsaw agreed in 2017 to raise defence spending gradually from 2% to 2.5% of GDP, meaning annual spending should nearly double to about 80 billion zlotys ($21 billion) by 2032.

U.S. arms sales to foreign governments rose 13 percent to $192.3 billion in the year ended September 30, the U.S. State Department said in November. F-35A Lightning II fighters are estimated to cost $85 million each.

During a televised statement on Tuesday, Blaszczak also said Poland was making progress in convincing the United States to increase its military presence on Polish soil.

 

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

 

New Era

Australia’s firsttwo locally-based F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft arrived on home soil onDecember 9 at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Williamtown, signalling thedawn of a new era for the nation’s defence capabilities.

Australia's first F-35s arrive home to RAAF Williamtown heralding new era for the Australian Defence Force
Australia’s first F-35s arrive home to RAAF Williamtown heralding new era for the Australian Defence Force

Lockheed Martin designed and built Australia’s fleet of F-35s and also serves as the global industry lead for F-35 sustainment.

The most advanced fighter jet ever built, the F-35 will be a catalyst for the transformation of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), utilising its sensors and low observability to operate with impunity in contested airspace and fuse a picture of the battlespace for other air, land and sea assets. Along with its advanced weapons capacity and superior range, the 5th Generation F-35 is the most lethal, survivable and connected fighter in the world.

«The arrival of the first F-35 aircraft to be permanently based in Australia is a historic occasion and we are proud of our role as the 5th Generation design pioneer and F-35 original equipment manufacturer», said Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin Australia, Vince Di Pietro AM, CSC.

«We congratulatethe RAAF, the ADF and all of our Australian industry partners who have workedto make this achievement a reality».

             

Australia PlaysMajor Role in the F-35 Program

Australian suppliers play a significant role in the F-35 program with more than 50 Australian companies contributing to the global program of record of more than 3,000 aircraft. To date, the F-35 program has secured more than 2,400 highly skilled jobs created and generated more than $1.3 billion AUD in contracts for Australian industry.

«Flown by Australian pilots, maintained by Australian maintenance personnel and containing many best-of-breed advanced components made right here in Australia, all Australians have every reason to be proud of this achievement», Di Pietro said. «Australia plays a significant role in the program with a suite of local industrial technology and know-how behind the hundreds of F-35s flying today, as well as the thousands of F-35s that will be produced in the future».

Lockheed Martin is the industry lead for F-35 global sustainment and is working in partnership with the Australian Defence Force and local industry to provide sustainment support and realise the full potential of the F-35 as an integrated force multiplier for decades to come.

Australia’s hascommitted to 72 F-35As, which will be flown by Australian pilots, andmaintained by a joint team of Australian maintenance personnel and industrypartners including Lockheed Martin Australia. Australia has received 10 aircraft to date, the remainder of which are stationed at Luke Air Force Base inArizona where they are part of the international cooperative F-35 trainingoperations.

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

Next two bases

The Air Force has selected Truax Field Air National Guard Base (ANGB), Wisconsin and Dannelly Field, Alabama as the preferred locations for the next two Air National Guard F-35A bases.

Truax Field, Wisconsin and Dannelly Field, Alabama were recently named preferred locations to receive the F-35A Lightning II. The 5th generation aircraft will replace current 4th generation platforms to meet combatant commander requirements (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sergeant Kate Thornton)
Truax Field, Wisconsin and Dannelly Field, Alabama were recently named preferred locations to receive the F-35A Lightning II. The 5th generation aircraft will replace current 4th generation platforms to meet combatant commander requirements (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sergeant Kate Thornton)

«Selecting Truax Field and Dannelly Field will increase Air National Guard F-35A units providing 5th Generation airpower around the world», said Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. «As F-35As arrive at these locations, we will use the existing aircraft at these fields to replace the aging F-16s at other Air National Guard units».

F-35As will eventually replace many of the 4th generation Air Force aircraft. However, the Air Force will continue to fly a mix of 5th and 4th generation fighters into the 2040s, in order to maintain enough fighters to meet combatant commander requirements, provide required training and allow a reasonable deployment tempo for the force.

«Putting F-35s at these two Air National Guard bases continues our transition into the next generation of air superiority», said Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein. «It helps ensure we can always offer the Commander-in-Chief air power options and be ready to penetrate any enemy air defenses, hold any target at risk and go when and where the president tells us to go. We’re the options folks. The F-35 is critical to the family of systems we need to accomplish this mission for the nation now and in the future».

At this time, the Air Force expects the F-35As to begin arriving at Truax Field in early 2023 and at Dannelly Field later that year.

These locations remain preferred alternatives until the secretary of the Air Force makes the final basing decisions after the requisite environmental analysis is complete.

The Air Force also evaluated Gowen Field ANGB, Idaho, Selfridge ANGB, Michigan and Jacksonville Air Guard Station (AGS), Florida in this round of decisions. Those bases were reasonable alternatives, but not preferred.

Previously, the secretary of the Air Force selected three active duty operational locations and one Air National Guard location – Hill Air Force Base (AFB), Utah, Royal Air Force (RAF) Lakenheath, England, Eielson AFB, Alaska and Burlington AGS, Vermont.

Additionally, the Air Force announced Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NAS JRB) Fort Worth, Texas as the preferred alternative for the first Air Force Reserve base.

 

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

 

Norwegian F-35A

On November 3rd, three Norwegian F-35A Lightning II aircraft flew from Fort Worth, Texas and landed at Ørland Air Base, Norway.

3 F-35s entering Norwegian air space (Credit: Helge Hopen, Norwegian Armed Forces)
3 F-35s entering Norwegian air space (Credit: Helge Hopen, Norwegian Armed Forces)

«Receiving the first three aircraft is a major milestone for Norway. On November 10th, Norway will celebrate First Aircraft Arrival of the first three F-35s on Norwegian soil. Achieving this milestone is a major step towards increased operational capability for the future», says Major General Morten Klever, Program Director for the F-35 program in Norway’s Ministry of Defence.

«This is an historic event. The arrival of the first F-35 in Norway at this time shows that we have reached the timeline set for the acquisition. The program delivers on all key criteria: time, cost and performance. Today we are both proud and happy. The Royal Norwegian Air Force is looking forward to starting their training with the F-35», says Major General Klever.

The three aircraft, the first to be delivered to Norway, took off from Fort Worth, Texas at 06.35 AM Norwegian time November 3rd and landed at 03.57 PM the same day at Ørland Air Base.

From 2018, Norway will receive six aircraft annually up until, and including, 2024.

November 3rd the three aircraft landed at Ørland (Credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed Forces)
November 3rd the three aircraft landed at Ørland (Credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed Forces)

 

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

 

Japanese-Built F-35A

The first Japanese-assembled F-35A was unveiled at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Komaki South F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility here on June 5, 2017. The Japan F-35 FACO is operated by MHI with technical assistance from Lockheed Martin and oversight from the U.S. Government.

AX-5, the first Japanese-assembled F-35A was unveiled in Nagoya Japan on 5 June 2017. The aircraft was built at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility. The Japan F-35 FACO is operated by MHI with technical assistance from Lockheed Martin and oversight from the U.S. Government (Photo by Thinh Nguyen, Lockheed Martin)
AX-5, the first Japanese-assembled F-35A was unveiled in Nagoya Japan on 5 June 2017. The aircraft was built at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility. The Japan F-35 FACO is operated by MHI with technical assistance from Lockheed Martin and oversight from the U.S. Government (Photo by Thinh Nguyen, Lockheed Martin)

Approximately 200 people attended the ceremony including Japanese and United States government and defense industry leaders. The ceremony highlighted the strong partnership between the Japanese Ministry of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense, MHI and Lockheed Martin.

Kenji Wakamiya, senior vice minister of defense; General Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) chief of staff; Lieutenant General Jerry Martinez, commander, U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force; Vice Admiral Mat Winter, F-35 Program Executive Officer; Vice Admiral Dave Lewis, Defense Contract Management Agency Director; Naohiko Abe, MHI’s senior vice president and Integrated Defense & Space Systems president, and Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, attended the milestone event.

«Seeing the first Japanese built F-35A is a testament to the global nature of this program», said Vice Admiral Mat Winter, F-35 Program Executive Officer. «This state of the art assembly facility, staffed with a talented and motivated workforce, enables us to leverage industry’s unique talents and technological know-how to produce the world’s best multi-role fighter. The F-35 will enhance the strength of our security alliances and reinforce long-established bonds with our allies through training opportunities, exercises, and military-to-military events».

The Japanese Ministry of Defense competitively selected the F-35A as the JASDF’s next-generation air defense fighter in December 2011, with a Foreign Military Sales program of record of 42 F-35As. The first four JASDF F-35As were previously delivered from the Fort Worth, Texas, production facility. Subsequent deliveries of 38 F-35A aircraft will come from the FACO here in Japan.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Defense selected the Nagoya FACO in 2014 for the North Asia-Pacific regional heavy airframe Maintenance Repair Overhaul & Upgrade (MROU) facility.

«Building upon our enduring relationship with Japanese industry, we are fully committed to our F-35 production partnership with MHI and our support to the Japan Ministry of Defense», Carvalho said. «The skilled workers who achieved this milestone know firsthand the F-35’s capability and how this aircraft will only strengthen the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance, thereby building upon Japan’s strategic vision to ensure the Alliance remains strong for decades to come».

The F-35 Lightning II is a next-generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, advanced mission systems, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and cutting-edge sustainment. More than 220 operational F-35s have been built and delivered worldwide and they have collectively flown more than 95,000 flight hours.

 

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

 

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