|X35 & F-35|
This aircraft formely known as the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) was the winner of a
competition between the Boeing X-34 and the Lockheed Martin X-35. The reason given
for the X designations was that these projects would test experimental techniques
then rush them straight into production, but seeing the usual project development issues
I think the X project designations was just budgeting slight of hand. The Lockheed-Martin
X-35 won the competion, becoming the F-35, which in short order became the F/A-35. The
aircraft will be built initially in 3 types:
The flyway price at present is a fairly moderate $35 million a copy, but the Air Force in particular is trying to either modify their A model or get a D model inserted in to the program, which would add various features to the models, primarily as a feature cross-over from the F/A-22 which will be built in such limited numbers (because of cost over runs) that the Air Force will not get enough to fill stated needs.
The F-35 will provide some level of stealthy design, and is expected to replace F-16's, Harriers, and F-18's (A's and C's).
X-35B Prototype in Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Annex (Feb 2004)
|© Copyright A. Maclean 2001 -|