For the first time, two F-35A Lightning II aircraft supporting 20 airmen are participating in a training deployment to Europe. This signifies a progression of the Joint Strike Fighter Program, an effort to define next-generation aircraft weapon systems for United States military branches and our allies.
The F-35A, in particular, is used for traditional air-to-ground and air-to-air missions, using conventional takeoff and landing methods. Two other iterations exist—the F-35B and F-35C. The B-version covers direct support to ground troops and implements short takeoff and vertical landing, while the F-35C is designed for aircraft carriers.
Each iteration combines stealth with speed and efficiency. Sensory information, advanced sustainment, and network-enabled operations are the core of its design. The F-35A has advanced electronic warfare abilities that enable pilots to effectively pinpoint and track enemy forces, as well as jam radar signals. Embedded sensors and complete 360-degree coverage gives pilots real-time access to battlefield information.
The aircraft has full system coverage, meaning its integrated sensors, avionics, displays, and communication networks collect and share information at either sea or ground level. Components that add to this title include active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar; communications, navigation, and identification (CNI) avionics; electro-optical targeting system (EOTS); distributed aperture system (DAS); and helmet mounted display (HMD).
Below you can see the impressive characteristics of the F-35A’s first training deployment to Europe, provided by the U.S. Air Force (such as how the aircraft uses 8,000,000 lines of code, while the U.S. space shuttle uses 400,000!).
If you want to view the infographic in even more detail, a larger version can be found here.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense