Six Capabilities Only Possible in the World’s Most Advanced Fighter Jet

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Imagine flying virtually undetected with a clear 360-degree view of your environment.

With advanced targeting and radar systems, you can identify and engage air and ground targets using a combination of infrared search and track technology.

Secure datalinks allow you to share information across your entire network – on the ground, in the air and over the seas – improving the lethality and survivability of your entire fleet.

This isn’t science fiction, and there’s only one place on earth such capabilities are possible: the cockpit of an F-35 Lightning II.

Check out these six things you need to know about the F-35 Lightning II:
 


1. ABILITY TO FLY VIRTUALLY UNDETECTED

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Undetectable. Untraceable. Invisible. These are some of the words that come to mind when we hear an aircraft is stealthy. The F-35’s advanced stealth grants pilots unparalleled access in contested areas where 4th generation aircraft can be easily detected by enemy radar.

So what is stealth, really? It’s the ability to evade detection by radar, infrared sensors or emission interception. The F-35’s shape, internal fuel and weapons carriage, mission-system sensors and advanced stealth coating all play key roles in keeping the F-35 stealthy. 
 


2. COMMUNICATING ACROSS A SECURE NETWORK

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In today’s world, we stay connected with our network at all times. The F-35 is no different. Equipped with a sophisticated mission systems suite, it enables seamless communications across the entire fleet in any battlespace. The F-35's advanced sensor fusion gathers information from the aircraft’s multiple on-board sensors to create a single integrated picture of the battlefield.

Through secure datalinks, this data is automatically shared with other pilots and command and control operating centers, helping not only the F-35 pilot, but all of the allied forces. 
 


3. LOCKING ON WITH LASER PRECISION

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In increasingly challenging battlespaces, the F-35’s Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) provides pilots with precise air-to-air and air-to-ground targeting capability. The system enables aircrews to identify areas of interest, perform reconnaissance and precisely deliver laser- and GPS-guided weapons.

This system is integral to maintaining the F-35's stealth. As a sensor integrated into the F-35’s fuselage, EOTS can be used without detection by enemy radar.
 


4. BIG DATA MEETS AIR SUPERIORITY

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For the next five decades, a global fleet of more than 3,000 F-35s will soar through the skies. With such a long lifecycle and operations across 12 nations, efficiently and effectively sustaining these aircraft is a major focus of the F-35 program.

That’s where the Autonomic Logistics Information System, better known as ALIS, comes in. ALIS acts as the information nerve center of the F-35, providing a comprehensive platform that transforms vast amounts of data into actionable information. ALIS provides mission planning capability, tracks training plans, logs maintenance activity, automatically orders parts and displays tailored step-by-step maintenance instructions. With big data analytics, ALIS pinpoints trends to keep the F-35 fleet in peak flying condition. 
 


5. REAL-TIME VIRTUAL REALITY

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The F-35 helmet takes virtual reality to the next level. Through the Distributed Aperture System (DAS), high-resolution, real-time images are streamed from six infrared cameras mounted around the aircraft, straight to the pilot’s visor. Additionally, DAS projects mission-critical information such as airspeed, heading, altitude, targeting information and warnings – all on the helmet’s visor. 
 


6. THREE MISSIONS, ONE JET

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To meet the needs of its customers, we designed three variants of the F-35: the F-35A, F-35B and F-35C. While all three are supersonic stealth fighters equipped with advanced avionics, they are distinguished by the unique requirements of each base they will operate out of. 

The F-35A is designed to operate from conventional runways and carry out traditional air-to-air and air-to-ground engagements. The F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variant is designed to operate in austere environments and on aircraft carriers. The F-35C, the U.S. Navy’s first stealth fighter, is designed and built explicitly for carrier operations.