Sunday, June 13, 2010

F-35 Lightning II


The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a fifth-generation, single-seat, single-engine stealth multirole fighter that can perform close air support, tactical bombing, and air defense missions. The F-35 has three different models; one is a conventional takeoff and landing variant, the second is a short take off and vertical-landing variant, and the third is a carrier-based variant.
The F-35 is descended from the X-35, the product of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. Its development is being principally funded by the United States, with the United Kingdom and other partner governments providing additional funding. It is being designed and built by an aerospace industry team led by Lockheed Martin with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems as major partners. Demonstrator aircraft flew in 2000, with the first flight on 15 December 2006.
The United States intends to buy a total of 2,443 aircraft for an estimated US$323 billion, making it the most expensive defense program ever. The USAF's budget data in 2010 projects the F-35 to have a US$89 million flyaway cost based its planned production of 1,753 F-35As.


Autonomic Logistics (AL)
Because logistics support accounts for two-thirds of an aircraft's life cycle cost, the F-35 will achieve unprecedented levels of reliability and maintainability, combined with a highly responsive support and training system linked with the latest in information technology. The aircraft will be ready to fight anytime and anyplace. Autonomic Logistics (AL) is a seamless, embedded solution that integrates current performance, operational parameters, current configuration, scheduled upgrades and maintenance, component history, predictive diagnostics (prognostics) and health management, and service support for the F-35. Essentially, AL does invaluable and efficient behind-the-scenes monitoring, maintenance and prognostics to support the aircraft and ensure its continued good health.

Commonality
Commonality is the key to affordability – on the assembly line; in shared-wing platforms; in common systems that enhance maintenance, field support and service interoperability; and in almost 100 percent commonality of the avionics suite. Component commonality across all three variants reduces unique spares requirements and the logistics footprint. In addition to reduced flyaway costs, the F-35 is designed to affordably integrate new technology during its entire life cycle.

Distributed Aperture System
In a joint effort with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems will provide key electronic sensors for the F-35, which includes spearheading the work on the Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System (DAS). This system will provide pilots with a unique protective sphere around the aircraft for enhanced situational awareness, missile warning, aircraft warning, day/night pilot vision, and fire control capability.

Diverterless Inlet
The F-35's diverterless inlet lightens the overall weight of the aircraft. Traditional aircraft inlets were comprised of many moving parts and are much heavier than newer diverterless inlets. The diverterless inlet also eliminates all moving parts.

Electro-Optical Targeting System

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems are jointly providing key electronic sensors for the F-35 to include the Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS). The internally mounted EOTS will provide extended range detection and precision targeting against ground targets, plus long range detection of air-to-air threats.

Helmet Mounted Display System

Vision Systems International, LLC (VSI) is developing the most advanced and capable Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) for the F-35. Utilizing extensive design experience gained on successful production Helmet Mounted Displays (HMD), the F-35 HMDS will replace the traditional Head-Up-Display (HUD) while offering true sensor fusion.

Integrated Communications, Navigation and Identification Avionics
Northrop Grumman Space Technology's integrated avionics satisfy the requirements for greatly increased functionalities within extreme space and weight limitations via modular hardware that could be dynamically programmed to reconfigure for multiple functions. This "smart"-box approach delivers increased performance, quicker deployment, higher availability, enhanced scalability and lower life cycle costs.

Interoperability
The F-35 will have the most robust communications suite of any fighter aircraft built to date. The F-35 will be the first fighter to possess a satellite communications capability that integrates beyond line of sight communications throughout the spectrum of missions it is tasked to perform. The F-35 will contain the most modern tactical datalinks which will provide the sharing of data among its flight members as well as other airborne, surface and ground-based platforms required to perform assigned missions. The commitment of JSF partner nations to common communications capabilities and web-enabled logistics support will enable a new level of coalition interoperability. These capabilities allow the F-35 to lead the defense community in the migration to the net-centric warfighting force of the future.

Low Observability


An integrated airframe design, advanced materials and an axisymmetric nozzle maximize the F-35's stealth features.

Multi-Function Display System

An 8"x20" Multi-Function Display System (MFDS) will be the panoramic projection display for the F-35. MFDS employs leading edge technology in projection engine architecture, video, compression, illumination module controls and processing memory – all of which will make the MFDS the most advanced tactical display. One-gigabyte-per-second data interfaces will enable the MFDS to display six full motion images simultaneously. The adaptable layout will be easily reconfigurable for different missions or mission segments. Projection display technology will provide a high-luminance, high-contrast, and high-resolution picture with no viewing angle effect.

Multi-Mission Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar

Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is developing the Multi-Mission Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar for the F-35. This advanced multi-function radar has gone through extensive flight demonstrations during the Concept Demonstration Phase (CDP). The radar will enable the F-35 JSF pilot to effectively engage air and ground targets at long range, while also providing outstanding situational awareness for enhanced survivability.

Propulsion




The F-35 Propulsion Systems are the most powerful fighter/attack turbofans in the world. There are two manufacturers with propulsion systems currently being tested. The propulsion systems are interchangeable and both will power the F-35. There are two major engine variants for the F-35. One engine will power the CTOL and CV versions of the aircraft, while the other will power the STOVL version. The F135 engine is made by Pratt & Whitney, the F136 by a team, known as the Fighter Engine Team comprised of General Electric and Rolls-Royce. Both the F135 and the F136 STOVL engines will utilize common exhaust and Lift System systems.

Robust Structure
Continuous tailhook-to-nose-gear structure and catapult-compatible nose gear launch system are strengthened for catapult and arresting loads.

Sophisticated Cockpit

The F-35 provides its pilot with unsurpassed situational awareness, positive target identification and precision strike under any weather condition. Mission systems integration and outstanding over-the-nose visibility features are designed to dramatically enhance pilot performance.

Weapons Integration



The F-35 will employ a variety of US and allied weapons. From JDAMs to Sidewinders to the UK Storm Shadow, the F-35 has been designed to carry either internally or externally a large array of weapons.


Specifications



General characteristics
Crew: 1
Length: 51.4 ft (15.67 m)
Wingspan: 35 ft (10.7 m)
Height: 14.2 ft (4.33 m)
Wing area: 460 ft² (42.7 m²)
Empty weight: 29,300 lb (13,300 kg)
Loaded weight: 44,400 lb (20,100 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 70,000 lb (31,800 kg)
Powerplant: 1× Pratt & Whitney F135 afterburning turbofan
Dry thrust: 28,000 lbf (125 kN)
Thrust with afterburner: 43,000 lbf (191 kN)
Internal fuel: 18,480 lb (8,382 kg)

Performance
Maximum speed: Mach 1.67 (1,283 mph, 2,065 km/h)
Range: 1,200 nmi (2,220 km) on internal fuel
Combat radius: 610 nmi (1,110 km) on internal fuel
Service ceiling: 60,000 ft (18,288 m)
Rate of climb: classified (not publicly available)
Wing loading: 91.4 lb/ft² (446 kg/m²)
Thrust/weight:
With full fuel: 0.84;
With 50% fuel: 1.04 B:
g-Limits: 9 g

Armament
Guns: 1 × GAU-22/A 25 mm (0.984 in) cannon  internally with 180 rounds
Hardpoints: 6× external pylons on wings with a capacity of 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) and 2 × internal bays with 2 pylons each for a total weapons payload of 18,000 lb (8,100 kg) and provisions to carry combinations of:
Missiles:
Air-to-air: AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-132 ASRAAM, AIM-9X Sidewinder, IRIS-T
Air-to-ground: AGM-154 JSOW, AGM-158 JASSM
Bombs:
Mark 84, Mark 83 and Mark 82 GP bombs
Mk.20 Rockeye II cluster bomb
Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser capable
Paveway-series laser-guided bombs
Small Diameter Bomb (SDB)
JDAM-series
B61 nuclear bomb (in 2017)

Avionics
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems AN/APG-81 AESA radar

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