As the F-22 Raptor production came to an end, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is set to become the next “crown jewel” of manned tactical airpower of the US armed forces.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Lockheed Martin Corporation.
The stealth capabilities allow pilots to penetrate areas without being detected by radars that dated fighters cannot evade. The F-35 has been designed to carry out air-to-air missions, air-to-surface and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR).
As a single-seat, single-engine fighter, developer relies on advanced training techniques to prepare pilots for flight at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Pilots will be equipped with a helmet-mounted display system, each one with an approximate cost of $400,000.00 dollars.
According to manufacturer, by 2019 the unit cost of the F-35 ―now estimated in $98 million dollars― will be comparable to the cost of legacy aircraft, considering all foreign military sales and international cooperation. The program is the most expensive military weapons system in history. United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Denmark and Norway are among the participant nations in the F-35 program.
The first unit was delivered to the USAF in July 2011 but no official information about possible deployments is available at this moment.
Royal Norwegian air force received its first unit in November 2015.
December 20th, 2015.