F-35 Lightning: The Joint Strike Fighter Program
August 26/16: Issues with weapons integration on the F-35 have been found and could hinder an operational capabilities declaration , according to the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation (DOT&E) . Challenges include the possibility, when the jet fires its 25mm cannon, that the aircraft could yaw as the gun door opens, reducing accuracy. Testing last December also threw up issues with AIM-9X missiles on the F-35C. Here testers found excess stress on the carrier-variant’s wing structure during landings and certain maneuvers. This could have an impact on the wing structure and might warrant a redesign on that part of the wing.
$313 million is the price that Canada would have to pay if it is to exit from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. The calculations were made by the Liberal government, and accounts for the difference of what Ottawa had contributed so far since 2006 and the $551 million it pledged to commit when it enrolled into the program. A Canxit from the program could occur with just 90 days written notice given to other partner nations.
The $382 billion F-35 Joint Strike fighter program may well be the largest single global defense program in history. This major multinational program is intended to produce an “affordably stealthy” multi-role fighter that will have 3 variants: the F-35A conventional version for the US Air Force et. al.; the F-35B Short Take-Off, Vertical Landing for the US Marines, British Royal Navy, et. al.; and the F-35C conventional carrier-launched version for the US Navy. The aircraft is named after Lockheed’s famous WW2 P-38 Lightning, and the Mach 2, stacked-engine English Electric (now BAE) Lightning jet. Lightning II system development partners included The USA & Britain (Tier 1), Italy and the Netherlands (Tier 2), and Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Turkey (Tier 3), with Singapore and Israel as “Security Cooperation Partners,” and Japan as the 1st export customer.
The big question for Lockheed Martin is whether, and when, many of these partner countries will begin placing purchase orders. This updated article has expanded to feature more detail regarding the F-35 program, including contracts, sub-contracts, and notable events and reports during 2012-2013.
The F-35 Lightning II Fighter Family
F-35 Family Variants: Door A, B, or C?
F-35s: Key Features
Pimp My Ride: Weapons & Accessories
The F-35 Family: Controversies and Competitions
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: The Program
F-35 JSF: Programs by Country
Home Base: The American Program
Australia (Tier 3)
Britain (Tier 1)
Canada (Tier 3)
Denmark (Tier 3)
Italy (Tier 2)
The Netherlands (Tier 2)
Norway (Tier 3)
Turkey (Tier 3)
Israel (Security Cooperation Partner)
Singapore (Security Cooperation Partner)
Exports: Beyond the Program Team
Future Sales Opportunities
F-35 Contracts & Decisions
FY 2013 – 2016
Additional Readings & Sources
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