1) F-35 Fighter Jet program is the largest and most expensive military program
According to an estimate, the F-35 Fighter Jet program has cost more than US$1.508 trillion. Here are estimated unit Costs of F-35 Models
- F-35A: $94.6M
- F-35B: US$122.8M
- F-35C: US$121.8M
2) The F-35 Is Produced In 3 Global Factories Utilizing 1,500 International Suppliers
One of the coolest F-35 Facts is that unlike the F-22 Raptor fifth-generation fighter, the F-35 is available to countries all over the world. It’s currently manufactured in three locations: Fort Worth, TX, Cameri, Italy, and Nagoya, Japan. Furthermore, this complex aircraft utilizes over 300,000 separate parts coming from 1,500 suppliers located all over the globe.
3) F-35 Fighter Jet Projected Service Life Until 2070
Whether it’s for military, commercial or civilian purposes, all aircraft have a finite lifespan. After the military adjusted the number of flight hours for their fleets, however, they were able to extend the projected service life of the F-35 by an additional six years to 2070. Therefore, it’s safe to say the F-35 will by soaring through the skies for a while to come.
4) F-35 Lightning II Flight Systems Contain Over 8 Million Lines Of Code
The F-35 Lightning II flight systems are the most advanced available. Lockheed Martin refers to these as the “supercomputer” within, or the F-35 “brain”. The “brain” operates using 5 distinct sensors including Electronic Warfare (EW), Radar, Communication, Navigation and Identification (CNI), Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) and the Distributed Aperture System (DAS). And within these systems lies over 8 million lines of complex code. This is more than any other US or allied jet in existence.
The F-35’s Helmet Mounted Display Systems provide pilots with unprecedented situational awareness. All the information pilots need to complete their missions – airspeed, heading, altitude, targeting information and warnings – is projected on the helmet’s visor, rather than on a traditional Heads-up Display. This approach greatly reduces the pilot’s workload and increases responsiveness. Additionally, the F-35’s Distributed Aperture System (DAS) streams real-time imagery from six infrared cameras mounted around the aircraft to the helmet, allowing pilots to “look through” the airframe. The helmet also provides pilots night vision through the use of an integrated camera.
6) 300,000 Parts from 1500 international Suppliers
Reports indicate that the F-35 has more than 300,000 individual parts by the time construction is completed. Of course, putting these parts together is no easy task, which is probably why the F-35 carries a hefty price tag of just under $100 million.
Red Flag is an intense training exercise conducted by the United States Air Force. Fighter squadrons go head-to-head in simulated combat, which tests both the machines and the skill of their operators. Fighting it out with the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the F-35 established an impressive kill ratio, downing 15 F-16s for every F-35 lost. The real edge the F-35 brought to the table was its versatility. The Lightning II was better able to detect enemy aircraft, share information, and identify and track targets. Even fresh out of missiles, the F-35 Lightning II’s electronic warfare and networking capabilities meant that it was an asset while unarmed. The Lightning II has been tested against the best and came out far, far ahead.
8) The Engine Of The F-35 Lighting II Is The Most Powerful Available
While initially plagued by reports of being under-powered, the engine finally implemented for the F-35 Lightning II is the heart and soul of its operational capability. This power-plant—the Pratt & Whitney F135—is an after-burning turbofan developed specifically for the F-35 Lightning II. Lockheed Martin claims that the engine is the most powerful available for a fifth-generation fighter. Able to generate 41,000 lbf of thrust, the flexible design of the F135 also contributes to the maneuverability and operational flexibility of the F-35 by enabling some of its enhanced features.
9) F-35 Lighting II have STOVL Capability
As mentioned above, the F-35 is expected to operate under a variety of circumstances, including carrier duty. Faced with the challenges of a carrier landing, the designers of the F-35 Lightning II designed it to be STOVL capable. STOVL—Short Take-Off Vertical Landing—allows the F-35 to take off from shorter runways while landing vertically on the deck of a carrier. Accomplished by adding a lift fan to the fore of the aircraft and a vectoring duct to the engine, this engineering feat sets the Lighting II apart.
10) F-35 Lighting II State-Of-The-Art Electronic Warfare Capabilities
Electronic warfare has been around for some time, but in the 21st century it has become a vital function. Information is power, and the F-35 Lightning II is designed with that in mind. The F-35’s sophisticated, next generation electronic warfare capabilities include false targets, network attack abilities, advanced radar and communications jamming, and data streaming. Combined with the F-35’s self-protection capabilities and stealth design, this fifth-generation fighter can target the enemy both physically and in the digital realm.
11) F-35 Lighting II Stealth Mode vs. “Beast Mode”
F-35 Lightning II is designed with stealth in mind. The materials and cross section of the aircraft are intended to render it invisible to enemy radar, something that the F-35 Lightning II excels at. On of the best F-35 facts is that in stealth mode, it holds all of its ordinance internally in order to remain unseen.
However, the F-35 does have external hard points for attaching weapons, giving it another option. Lovingly referred to by its operators as “beast mode”, the F-35 can abandon stealth to load up with extra ordinance to expand both air to air and air to ground engagements. One more feather in its cap, and one more example of the F-35’s overall versatility.