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 Raptor The 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 Aircraft The 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. Performance The F-35 has a range of 1,200 nautical miles using internal fuel with a combat radius of 584 nautical miles, a service ceiling of 60,000 feet and a maximum speed of Mach 1.6+. It has a single General Dynamics GAU-22/A Equalizer 25mm 4 barreled gatling canon with 180 rounds, but has 6 external pylons on the wings for additional weaponry. It can carry air-to-air, air-to-surface and anti-ship missiles in addition to a number of bombs as well. Piloting The F-35 features a full-panel-width glass cockpit touch screen "panoramic cockpit display" (PCD), with dimensions of 20 by 8 inches. A cockpit speech-recognition system (Direct Voice Input) provided by Adacel is planned to improve the pilot's ability to operate the aircraft over the current-generation interface. The F-35 will be the first U.S. operational fixed-wing aircraft to use this system, although similar systems have been used in AV-8B and trialled in previous U.S. jets, particularly the F-16 VISTA. A helmet-mounted display system (HMDS) will be fitted to all models of the F-35. A helmet-mounted cueing system is already in service with the F-15s, F-16s and F/A-18s. While some fighters have offered HMDS along with a head up display (HUD), this will be the first time in several decades that a front line tactical jet fighter has been designed without a HUD. The F-35 is equipped with a right-hand HOTAS side stick controller. The F-35B In Action [flowplayer src='https://s3.amazonaws.com/All-Things-Aviation/F-35B.mp4' splash=/images/F-35-Splash.png] Get A Marine F-35 Desktop Model Like the F-35? Get your very own Stovl F35B USMC Desktop Model to display in your office or at home! In the meantime keep your wings straight and level Hersch! Please share "The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft Shows Off Its Stuff!" with your friends using the buttons below. Thanks! Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7+ ps: Don't forget to sign up for updates via email for "All Things Aviation" here!