Last time we started a two-parter about all the amazing facts that the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is equipped with. The aircraft is without the doubt is currently standing at the pinnacle of the aeronautical engineering starting from its design and avionics to its state of the art weapon system and flight control systems.
As we said last time, that one article was not enough to cover all the amazingly cool facts of the F-35 Lightning II; we have come strong on our promise and bring to our readers another list of cool facts about F-35 Lightning II.
So without any further wait, let’s get on for a fun flight of Amazing facts about the F-35 Lightning II.
F-35 Lightning II’s STVOL capability:-
Due to their being three different variants of F-35 Lightning II, designed to cater the need of any type of military unit, the aircraft is also needed to operate on the carrier duty as well. In order to face off the carrier landing problems, the designers of the F-35 Lightning II made the aircraft to have STVOL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) capability.
The STVOL feature of the F-35 Lightning II sets it apart from many jet fighters and allows it to have a short take-off run on shorter runways for both taking flights and landing vertically on an aircraft carrier.
The STVOL feat is achieved in the F-35 Lightning II by adding a lift fan to the fore of the aircraft along with a vectoring duct installed in the engine.
Stealth and Beast Mode:-
Like all the major fifth generation fighter jets being developed in these modern times, F-35 Lightning II was also designed with keeping stealth as the main criterion. The materials used in its creation, as well as the cross section design of the F-35 Lightning II, allow it to be virtually invisible on the enemy’s radar. In fact, F-35 Lightning II’s stealth mode is the thing that it shines at most. As for its ordinance, they are kept internally when not engaged in attack to keep the aircraft hidden.
As for the mode that its operators often refer to as it Beast Mode, the F-35 Lightning II has hard points externally for attachment of weapons. For this beats mode, the F-35 Lightning II can let go of its stealth mode and be loaded up with extra ordinance for delivering a devastating attack on its enemy’s during both air-to-air as well as air-to-ground attacks.
F-35 Lightning II Putting Break to The “Kill Chain”
While the stealth capability is seeing an evolution in these modern times, so is the radar detection. The modern radars are integrated with VHF that makes them able to detect the stealth aircraft such as F-35 Lightning II partially. But still, the F-35 Lightning II is quite able to not be detected completely by even the most sophisticated radar technologies.
The enemy forces actually are able to detect the F-35 Lightning II by a process called Kill Chain. In order to detect an F-35 Lightning II, the enemy forces have to target the aircraft with a missile and then make a precise launching but with F-35 Lightning II’s state of the art stealthy capability; it is able to render this whole process to null. It manages to break the whole kill chain process before an effective response can be established by the enemy radar and targeting systems.
F-35 Lightning II and the Electronic Warfare System:-
Although the Electronic Warfare has been in use for quite a long time in the military; in these modern times, this has become one of the most vital functions. The F-35 Lightning II is designed with the concept that “Information is Power”.
The F-35 Lightning II is equipped with state of the art and next generation sophisticated Electronic Warfare system that allows it to have the following capabilities.
- False targets
- Attacking networks
- Advanced jammers for radars and communications systems
- Data streaming
Combined with these self-protecting capabilities and the nearly virtual stealth design; F-35 Lightning II is a fifth-generation fighter jet that can deliver a quite a punch to the enemy in both physical and digital attacks.
F-35 Lightning II; tested against Best American Fighters and gained Marginal Victory
United States Air Force conducts an intense training program which is named as “Red Flag”. During these training exercises, fighter squadrons are pitted against each other in simulated combat scenarios. These training sessions are conducted to make a comparative test for the skills of pilots and the abilities of the aircraft.
In one such simulated combat session of F-16 Fighting Falcon VS F-35 Lightning II, the F-25 was able to establish itself an astounding kill ratio. For every F-35 Lightning II lost in the simulated combat, it destroyed 15 of the F-16s. During these training sessions, it was revealed that the F-35 Lightning II is able to perform the following tasks better than F-16.
- Detection of enemy aircraft
- Sharing information
- Identification and tracking of targets
So far, no matter what aircraft the F-35 Lightning II was pitted against, in simulated combats, it came out on top by a huge margin.
Hemet of F-35 Lightning II; a Step in enhanced Augmented Reality:-
The helmet of the F-35 Lightning II which is equipped with a display system is one of the most sophisticated pieces of technology for any fifth-generation aircraft to have. Beyond the scope of technology, it borders on the verge of being an art.
Following vital informations are all projected on to the visor of the helmet’s interior.
- Weapon operation
- Weapon targeting
- Weapon warnings
There are nearly 6 cameras which have been installed on the sides of the F-35 Lightning II which allow the pilot to look through as well as around the aircraft’s airframe making it one of the most capable and powerful fighters in the world right now.