Lockheed Martin argues that the F-35 is the world's most advanced multirole aircraft and will increase American and global security for decades to come despite some questions about the cost and need for such an aircraft. When you look at the performance and flexibility of this aircraft however you see great support from Congress and the Department of Defense for this new aircraft. ' The aircraft comes in 3 variants and will be flown by the U.S. Air Force, the Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy. The U.S. government plans to purchase 2,443 of these aircraft and it will provide the bulk of our tactical air power for the next few decades. Several other countries including Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Norway, Denmark and Turkey are planning to purchase the aircraft, as well as Israel and Japan.
Comparison With The F-22 RaptorThe F-35 is a smaller single engine and more conventional aircraft than the F-22, but took a lot of the design elements from the F-22 and incorporated them into the F-35. With a maximum speed of Mach 1.6+ and a GTOW of 60,000 pounds the F-35 is much heavier than the aircraft it replaces. It has been compared to the F-105 Thunderchief of Vietnam fame.
Improvements Over Current Generation AircraftThe F-35 has implemented a number of improvements over current generation fighter aircraft like:
- More durable, low maintenance stealth technology;
- Integrated avionics and sensor fusion to increase the pilot's situation awareness and improve target identification and weapon delivery;
- High speed data networking;
- The Autonomic Logistics Global Sustainment System and computerized maintenance management system to help ensure uptime and minimal maintenance manpower;
- Fly-by-wire flight control system;
- Modern updated flight simulator;
- Lightweight powerful and volatile Lithium-ion batteries like those in the Dreamliner.