Everything You Need to Know about the F-35A

April 15, 2019

Everything You Need to Know about the F-35A

The U.S. Air Force announced that the 4th Fighter Squadron from Hill Air Force Base, Utah deployed this week with their F-35As. The F-35 is the most lethal, survivable and connected fighter in the world. Here are 11 things you need to know about the F-35A.

1. It is stealth. The F-35’s shape, embedded sensors, internal fuel and weapons capacity, aligned edges, and state of the art manufacturing processes all contribute to the F-35’s unique Very Low Observable stealth performance. This allows the Air Force to evade detection and operate in anti-access, aerial denial environments, improving lethality and survivability.

2. It has the most advanced and comprehensive sensor package of any fighter jet in history. This allows the pilot to see everything in the battlespace with unprecedented situational awareness.

3. It can share its information seamlessly. More than a fighter jet, the F-35 can serve as an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance asset and battle manager, sharing information to all networked air, ground and sea assets in the battlespace. This ensures men and women in uniform can execute their mission and come home safe.

4. It is a Multi-Role fighter. The F-35 is a “air-to-everything” capable of successfully executing any and all missions, including new missions not traditionally fulfilled by fighters. The F-35’s capability and flexibility allows operators to execute the most dangerous sensitive missions deep in enemy territory, down to the lower end missions in a permissive airspace.

5. It can carry internal and external weapons. The F-35A can carry more than 5,000 lbs of internal weapons, or more than 18,000 lbs of combined internal and external weapons. This allows the Air Force unique flexibility to operate in stealth when necessary, or increase lethality with additional weapons externally when the air space is permissive.

6. It has Electronic Warfare built in. Advanced electronic warfare (EW) capabilities enable F-35 pilots to locate and track enemy forces, jam radars and disrupt attacks with unparalleled effectiveness.

7. It is supersonic. Powered by the Pratt & Whitney F-135 engine, the F-35A can reach speeds of 1.6 Mach (~1,200 mph) even with a full internal weapons load. With its fuel and weapons stored internally, the F-35A can fly faster and with no drag associated with external tanks and weapons required for legacy jets.

8. It has range and mission persistence. The F-35A carriers more than 18,000 lbs of internal fuel, and has a range greater than 1,200 nm. This enables F-35A pilots to fly further and remain in a desired battlespace longer before refueling is necessary.

9. It is highly maneuverable. With a 9G rating and its highly advanced digital flight controls system, the F-35 has the agility and maneuverability that enables pilots to control the battle, fight and win.

10. It is strengthening allied partnerships. The F-35 is the backbone of American and allied air power. With 13 countries participating in the program, the F-35 is enhancing interoperability and coalition operations, while strengthening key ally partnerships.

11. F-35 is built by thousands of men and women in America and around the world. Lockheed Martin leads the F-35 industry team and the program is managed by the Department of Defense’s F-35 Joint Program Office. More 1,500 suppliers build and sustain the F-35 program in 45 U.S. states and in more than 10 countries.