The Joint Strike Fighter: Driven by data

Vanguard Magazine // May 12, 2014

Talking in detail about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter requires verbal dexterity. Many of the aircraft’s features are classified, so inadvertently revealing a number or the full capabilities of a sensor carry a heavy price. “Leavenworth [prison] is such a terrible place to be,” Stephen O’Bryan says with a rueful smile as he pauses yet again at the description of a sensor system.

The vice president of F-35 Program Integration and Business Development for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is treading carefully for good reason. He needs to continue selling the virtues of the aircraft to Canadians, especially Cabinet members who now hold the fate of Canada’s CF-18 fighter replacement program in their hands following the delivery of an options analysis report by the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat in April. But he wants them to understand the generational leap in technology he believes the F-35 represents without revealing the full extent of its capability.

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Photo by Lockheed Martin.