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F-35 Lightning II

F-35B STOVL landing at sea

Establishing air superiority in today’s complex global security climate requires the unprecedented capabilities and versatility that only the F-35 Lightning II can offer.

Conceived in the mid 1990s, the tri-variant F-35 represents the pinnacle of more than 50 years of fighter development technology. Designed to dominate the skies, the F-35 combines the 5th Generation characteristics of radar evading stealth, supersonic speed and extreme agility with the most powerful and comprehensive integrated sensor package of any fighter aircraft in history.

Advanced avionics give the pilot real-time access to battle space information with spherical coverage and an unparalleled ability to dominate the tactical environment. Data collected by F-35 sensors can be immediately shared with commanders at sea, in the air or on the ground, providing an instantaneous, high-fidelity view of ongoing operations – making the Lightning II a formidable force multiplier. 

The F-35’s built-in sustainment establishes new levels of operational readiness. Aircraft share common parts, support equipment and technical data, yielding greater reliability and long-term cost savings. And the F-35’s strong global partnership and broad industrial base ensures affordability through economies of scale while delivering thousands of technology sector jobs around the world

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II – the world’s only international 5th Generation multirole fighter.

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Northrop Grumman
BAE Systems
Pratt & Whitney

Marine Corps' First Operational F-35 Performs First Vertical Landing

The Marine Corps' first operational F-35B conducted its first short takeoff, vertical landing on March 21, 2013

First F-35A Aircraft Arrive at Nellis AFB

Interviews and highlights from the F-35 delivery ceremony at Nellis AFB, Nevada on March 19. 2013.

First F-35 Night Flight

The F-35 program's first night flight on Jan. 18, 2012, out of Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

F-35B Ship Suitability Testing

The F-35B completed initial Ship Suitability Testing aboard the USS WASP (LHD-1) in October 2011. The two aircraft on board accomplished 72 short takeoffs and 72 vertical landings combined.

First F-35C Catapult Launch

The F-35C carrier variant completes its first catapult launch on July 27 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. Navy test pilot Lt. Chris Tabert flew the mission in test aircraft CF-3.

First F-35 Delivered to Eglin AFB

The first F-35A was delivered to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., July 14, 2011, for pilot and maintainer training.

Marine Corps' First Operational F-35 Performs First Vertical Landing

The Marine Corps' first operational F-35B conducted its first short takeoff, vertical landing on March 21, 2013

F-35A Test Fleet

There are six F-35A test aircraft stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. AF-1, AF-2, AF-3, AF-4, AF-6 and AF-7.

Formation Flight

F-35A test aircraft AF-6 and AF-7 fly in formation on a test mission over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

F-35B Ship Trials

An F-35B executes a short takeoff from the USS WASP (LHD-1) during intial ship suitability tests in October 2011.

STOVL in Flight

An F-35B short takeoff vertical landing (STOVL) variant in flight.

F-35C Catapult Launch

The first F-35C catapult launch was July 27, 2011, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

CV in Flight

The F-35C carrier variant (CV) has a larger wing area that the A and B variants.

F-35 Factory

All three F-35 variants are built on the same production line in Fort Worth, Texas.

F-35A Test Fleet

There are six F-35A test aircraft stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. AF-1, AF-2, AF-3, AF-4, AF-6 and AF-7.

F-35 Fast Facts

Learn how the F-35 program is on track to delivering capability and driving down costs in this F-35 Fast Facts Infographic.