F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft

Lockheed Martin has displayed its F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft mobile cockpit demonstrator at the Northrop Grumman facility in California, US.

The visually and audibly interactive cockpit demonstrator provides real-time experience of F-35 JSF’s performance, air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities, sophisticated sensor fusion and advanced computational capabilities.

Lockheed Martin Washington Operations USAF F-35 Programme director Danny Conroy said: "We’re pleased to demonstrate the capabilities of the F-35 Lightning II, the worlds’ most advanced multirole fighter aircraft, to our California supplier companies, elected officials and other local stakeholders."

The cockpit demonstrator enables the pilot to get firsthand experience of how advanced stealth, fighter agility and integrated information will be useful to survive and operate effectively in threat environments.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Lightning II aircraft is a stealthy, supersonic multi-role fighter, currently under development by Lockheed, which has been undergoing flight tests since late 2006.

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The aircraft is being developed in three variants, conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant for the USAF, a carrier variant (CV) for the US Navy and a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft for the US Marine Corps and UK Royal Navy.

The USAF’s F-35A Lightning II is primarily intended to replace the USAF’s existing F-16 Fighting Falcon and A-10 Thunderbolt II fleet from 2028.

Designed to carry up to 18,000lbs on ten weapon stations, the aircraft combines advanced stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, advanced sustainment and lower operational and support costs.

The aircraft has completed night flight testing and night refuelling at Edwards Air Force Base in January 2011 and March 2012 respectively, and is scheduled to undergo formation test flights in late 2012.

The JSF programme is principally financed by the US, with additional funding from the UK and seven international partners, namely Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Norway and Turkey.

Image: The first USAF F-35 Lightning II JSF aircraft headed to its new home at Eglin Air Force Base. Photo: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago.