F-35 – Joint Strike Fighter

The future of western fighter jets is almost here. The Joint Strike Fighter is a fighter family developed for the Air Force, Navy & Marines. The fact that 70-80% of the 3 variants is the same allows the tax payer a savings of 20-25% per plane. Which can get to be significant as it will eventually replace a large portion of the planes in service (4000 or so).

The Air Force and Navy models are very similar with the exception of the necessary changes for carrier landing. The Marine variant however has a sweet vertical take-off and landing ability. All 3 have the latest in stealth and electronic intel gathering technology. Not to mention the serious payload of weapons they can carry internally. Carrying the weapons internally reduces drag and therefore increases range; It also reduces the radar signature of the plane. Everything from bunker busters to cruise missiles to conventional missiles can be carried stealthily to targets at super sonic speeds (something previous stealth bombers lacked).

All in all, it looks pretty sweet and should be put into full service in the next 4-5 years.