Friday, December 23

President-Elect recommends dumping Lockheed Martin F-35 for Cheaper Boeing F-18

President-Elect Donald Trump has indicated that the Trump Administration will be moving away from the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II multirole fighter craft in favor of the cheaper, slower and considerably older Boeing F-18 Hornet after last week taking Twitter aim at Boeing's new 747 Air Force One.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters. The F-35 is the only fifth-generation stealth combat aircraft, designed to perform ground attack and air defense missions.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 program teams with more than 1,250 domestic suppliers in 45 states and Puerto Rico to a tune of more than 146,000 direct and indirect U.S. based jobs.

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The F-35 has three main models: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL)(USAF) variant, the F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL)(USMC) variant, and the F-35C
carrier-based Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR)(USN) variant.

On July 31st 2015, the first squadron of F-35B fighters was declared ready for deployment after intensive testing by the United States Marines. On August 2nd 2016, the U.S. Air Force declared its first squadron of F-35A fighters as combat-ready.

The United States has plans to buy 2,457 aircraft over the program's lifetime, providing the bulk of the manned tactical airpower of the U.S. Air Force, Navy and the Marine Corps over the coming decades. Deliveries of the F-35 for the U.S. military are scheduled to be completed in 2037 with a projected service life up to 2070.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II specs out as follows:
Top speed: 1,199 mph
Range: 1,379 mi
Wingspan: 35′ 0″
Length: 51′
Engine type: Pratt & Whitney F135
Unit cost: $98M (low rate initial production without engine)
Full production Projected in 2018 with lower unit cost to be $85M
First flight: 15 December 2006 (F-35A)
Variant Introduction:
F-35B: 31 July 2015 (USMC)
F-35A: 2 August 2016 (USAF)
F-35C: 2018 (USN)

The JSF development contract was signed on November 16th 1996 during the Clinton Administration, and the contract for System Development and Demonstration (SDD) was awarded on October 26 2001 during the Bush Administration to Lockheed Martin, whose X-35 beat the Boeing X-32. The X-35 design was considered to have less risk and more growth potential.

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