The F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), is the world’s most advanced 5th generation multirole fighter, bringing together stealth, agility and advanced technologies to provide the pilot with unprecedented situational awareness and unmatched lethality and survivability. The U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, as well as the UK Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, and military forces in seven other partner countries around the world will fly the F-35. The Royal Air Force and Royal Navy will purchase 138 F-35 aircraft to replace the Harrier aircraft. The F-35B will provide the UK with advanced technology, stealth capability and interoperability across military forces.
All three variants of the F-35 are currently flying and will continue to fly for the next 30 or more years. Lockheed Martin has begun to deliver production aircraft to the U.S. government. With each flight hour and major milestone - including first flights, vertical landings and flights at supersonic speeds - pilots, customers and engineers learn more about the F-35 Lightning II.
Lockheed Martin’s approach to the F-35 programme is designed to take advantage of the low-cost, rapid-prototyping and advanced technology knowledge at the Palmdale, Calif. facility; the integrated product team structure, critical stealth technologies and lessons learned from the F/A-22 programme office in Marietta, Ga.; and the total systems integration and world-class, lean production capability of the Fort Worth facility. Partner Northrop Grumman brings tactical aircraft integration, carrier suitability, stealth technologies, avionics systems integration, sensors and advanced aircraft manufacturing. BAE SYSTEMS, a U.K.-based company, is also a part of the F-35 team and is responsible for the aft, fuel system, crew escape, life support and Prognostics and Health Management System, as well as the U.K. future carrier integration.
Pratt & Whitney is the prime contractor for the F-35's engine, bringing its expertise as a leading manufacturer of civilian and military aircraft engines and propulsion systems. Though separated geographically, the team members share a virtual workspace created by shared databases and common audio, video and computer systems.
The F-35 Lightning II isn't just a cutting-edge aircraft. It also demonstrates the power of collaboration. Today, a host of United Kingdom companies are playing their part in developing and building this next-generation aircraft and enhancing the U.K.'s ability to compete in the global technology marketplace.
The F-35 industrial participation programme is based on building global, best-value partnerships among industries in partner nations. The F-35 programme continues to create thousands of jobs throughout the country and contribute to the overall economic development of the U.K.