Six Capabilities Only Possible in the World’s Most Advanced Fighter Jet
Imagine flying virtually undetected with a 360-degree view of your surroundings…
With advanced targeting and radar systems, helping you identify and engage air and ground threats…
And with secure datalinks, allowing you to share information across your entire network—on the ground, in the air and over the seas.
There’s only one place on earth this is possible: the cockpit of an F-35 Lightning II.
Check out these six things you need to know about the world’s most advanced 5th generation fighter.
1. ABILITY TO FLY UNDETECTED
Undetectable. Untraceable. Invisible. These are some of the words that come to mind when we hear the word stealth. The F-35’s advanced stealth gives pilots unparalleled access in contested areas where other 4th generation aircraft can be easily detected by enemy radar.
So what is stealth, really? It’s the ability to evade detection by radars and sensors. The F-35’s shape, internal fuel and weapons carriage, mission-system sensors and advanced stealth coating all play key roles in keeping the F-35 stealthy.
2. COMMUNICATING ACROSS A SECURE NETWORK
In today’s world, we stay connected with our network at all times. The F-35 is no different. Equipped with a sophisticated mission systems suite, it enables seamless communications across the entire fleet in any battlespace. The F-35's advanced sensor fusion systems gather information from the aircraft’s multiple on-board sensors to create a single integrated picture of the battlefield.
Through secure datalinks, this data is automatically shared with other pilots and command and control operating centers, helping not only the F-35 pilot, but all of the allied forces.
3. LOCKING ON WITH LASER PRECISION
In increasingly challenging battlespaces, the F-35’s Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) provides pilots with precise air-to-air and air-to-ground targeting capability. The system enables aircrews to identify areas of interest, perform reconnaissance and precisely deliver laser- and GPS-guided weapons.
4. BIG DATA MEETS AIR SUPERIORITY
For the next five decades, a global fleet of more than 3,000 F-35s will soar through the skies. With such a long lifecycle and operations across 12 nations, efficiently and effectively sustaining these aircraft is a major focus of the F-35 program.
That’s where the Autonomic Logistics Information System, better known as ALIS, comes in. ALIS acts as the information nerve center of the F-35, providing a comprehensive platform that transforms vast amounts of data into actionable information. ALIS connects F-35 maintenance, supply chain and sustainment information into a single management tool—enabling warfighters to make proactive decisions to keep F-35s mission ready.
5. REAL-TIME VIRTUAL REALITY
The F-35 helmet takes virtual reality to the next level. Through the Distributed Aperture System (DAS), high-resolution, real-time images are streamed from six infrared cameras mounted around the aircraft, straight to the pilot’s visor.
The pilot sees everything that’s of concern to him or her on the ground and to the horizon, even to the point where he or she can “see through” the plane, with clear line of sight 360 degrees around.
6. THREE MISSIONS, ONE JET
To meet the needs of its customers, Lockheed Martin designed three variants of the F-35: the F-35A, F-35B and F-35C. While all three are supersonic stealth fighters equipped with advanced avionics, they are distinguished by the unique requirements of each base they will operate out of.
The F-35A is designed to operate from conventional runways and carry out traditional air-to-air and air-to-ground engagements. The F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing variant is designed to operate in austere environments and on aircraft carriers. And the F-35C, the U.S. Navy’s first stealth fighter, is designed and built explicitly for carrier operations.