F-35 Lightning II

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F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.JPG

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II (so named in honor of the WWII era Lockheed P-38 Lightning) is a single seat next-generation multi-role strike aircraft with stealth capabilities. It is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney F135 turbofan engine capable of producing in excess of 40,000 pounds of thrust.

The Lightning II evolved from the X-35, the winning design in the USAF Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) design competition. The Lockheed Martin design defeated the Boeing designed X-32.

The JSF concept involves a single common airframe with multiple variants to fulfill multiple roles. As such, the F-35 has three distinct variants, each engineered for their respective contractors. The F-35A is the conventional take off/landing (CTOL) version primarily intended for the USAF as a replacement for the aging F-16 Falcon. The F-35B is a short take off/vertical landing (STOVL) version intended primarily for the USMC as a replacement for the AV-8B Harrier. The F-35C is a carrier based variant intended primarily for the USN as a replacement for older model F/A-18 Hornets (A/B/C variants) which in turn replaced the venerable Vought A-7 Corsair II and Grumman A-6 Intruder.