Header: F-35
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Introduction

Background

Technology

Variants

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Title: F-35
Autonomic Logistics (AL)
Because logistics support accounts for two-thirds of an aircraft's life cycle cost, the F-35 will achieve unprecedented levels of reliability and maintainability, combined with a highly responsive support and training system linked with the latest in information technology. The aircraft will be ready to fight anytime and anyplace. Autonomic Logistics (AL) is a seamless, embedded solution that integrates current performance, operational parameters, current configuration, scheduled upgrades and maintenance, component history, predictive diagnostics (prognostics) and health management, and service support for the F-35. Essentially, AL does invaluable and efficient behind-the-scenes monitoring, maintenance and prognostics to support the aircraft and ensure its continued good health.

Commonality
Commonality is the key to affordability – on the assembly line; in shared-wing platforms; in common systems that enhance maintenance, field support and service interoperability; and in almost 100 percent commonality of the avionics suite. Component commonality across all three variants reduces unique spares requirements and the logistics footprint. In addition to reduced flyaway costs, the F-35 is designed to affordably integrate new technology during its entire life cycle.
Thumbnail: Chart comparing common  parts between each of the three variants.

Distributed Aperture System
In a joint effort with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems will provide key electronic sensors for the F-35, which includes spearheading the work on the Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System (DAS). This system will provide pilots with a unique protective sphere around the aircraft for enhanced situational awareness, missile warning, aircraft warning, day/night pilot vision, and fire control capability.
Thumbnail: Diagram of Distributed Aperture System

Diverterless Inlet
The F-35's diverterless inlet lightens the overall weight of the aircraft. Traditional aircraft inlets were comprised of many moving parts and are much heavier than newer diverterless inlets. The diverterless inlet also eliminates all moving parts.
Thumbnail: Divertless Inlet

Electro-Optical Targeting System
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems are jointly providing key electronic sensors for the F-35 to include the Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS). The internally mounted EOTS will provide extended range detection and precision targeting against ground targets, plus long range detection of air-to-air threats.
Thumbnail: Electro-Optical Targeting System

Helmet Mounted Display System
Vision Systems International, LLC (VSI) is developing the most advanced and capable Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) for the F-35. Utilizing extensive design experience gained on successful production Helmet Mounted Displays (HMD), the F-35 HMDS will replace the traditional Head-Up-Display (HUD) while offering true sensor fusion.
Thumbnail: Electro-Optical Targeting System

Integrated Communications, Navigation and Identification Avionics
Northrop Grumman Space Technology's integrated avionics satisfy the requirements for greatly increased functionalities within extreme space and weight limitations via modular hardware that could be dynamically programmed to reconfigure for multiple functions. This "smart"-box approach delivers increased performance, quicker deployment, higher availability, enhanced scalability and lower life cycle costs.

Interoperability
The F-35 will have the most robust communications suite of any fighter aircraft built to date. The F-35 will be the first fighter to possess a satellite communications capability that integrates beyond line of sight communications throughout the spectrum of missions it is tasked to perform. The F-35 will contain the most modern tactical datalinks which will provide the sharing of data among its flight members as well as other airborne, surface and ground-based platforms required to perform assigned missions. The commitment of JSF partner nations to common communications capabilities and web-enabled logistics support will enable a new level of coalition interoperability. These capabilities allow the F-35 to lead the defense community in the migration to the net-centric warfighting force of the future.

Low Observability
An integrated airframe design, advanced materials and an axisymmetric nozzle maximize the F-35's stealth features.

Multi-Function Display System
An 8"x20" Multi-Function Display System (MFDS) will be the panoramic projection display for the F-35. MFDS employs leading edge technology in projection engine architecture, video, compression, illumination module controls and processing memory – all of which will make the MFDS the most advanced tactical display. One-gigabyte-per-second data interfaces will enable the MFDS to display six full motion images simultaneously. The adaptable layout will be easily reconfigurable for different missions or mission segments. Projection display technology will provide a high-luminance, high-contrast, and high-resolution picture with no viewing angle effect.

Multi-Mission Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is developing the Multi-Mission Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar for the F-35. This advanced multi-function radar has gone through extensive flight demonstrations during the Concept Demonstration Phase (CDP). The radar will enable the F-35 JSF pilot to effectively engage air and ground targets at long range, while also providing outstanding situational awareness for enhanced survivability.

Propulsion
The F-35 Propulsion Systems are the most powerful fighter/attack turbofans in the world. There are two manufacturers with propulsion systems currently being tested. The propulsion systems are interchangeable and both will power the F-35. There are two major engine variants for the F-35. One engine will power the CTOL and CV versions of the aircraft, while the other will power the STOVL version. The F135 engine is made by Pratt & Whitney.

F135
The Pratt & Whitney F135 family of advanced propulsion systems utilize cutting edge technology to provide the F-35 with higher performance than conventional fighter aircraft. The engine consists of a 3-stage fan, a 6-stage compressor, an annular combustor, a single stage high-pressure turbine, and a 2 stage low-pressure turbine.

The F135 is currently in the SDD phase. The F135 is using the lessons learned from the F119 engine core and the JSF119 during the CDA stage to reduce risk in SDD. During SDD the F135 test engines will undergo a range of ground and flight tests to simulate various mission profiles. In these tests the system demonstration engines will be run for hours throughout various flight envelopes to ensure they meet performance requirements. One of the vital milestone tests occured at the end of 2003 with the first F135 engine to test.

The first CTOL F135 engine test occurred on 11 October 2003. The first STOVL F135 engine test occurred on 14 April 2004. To date over 2,000 hours have been accumulated on the F135 test engines.

Rolls-Royce Lift System
Rolls-Royce is subcontracted to Pratt & Whitney on the F135 to provide the Lift System for the F-35. The Lift System is comprised of the Lift Fan, Clutch, Drive Shaft, Roll Posts and the Three Bearing Swivel Module (3BSM).

Shaft Driven Lift Fan (SDLF)
Lockheed Martin developed the idea for a Short Take-Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) lift system that uses a vertically oriented Shaft Driven Lift Fan (SDLF). A two-stage low-pressure turbine on the engine provides the horsepower necessary to power the Rolls-Royce designed Lift Fan. The Lift Fan generates a column of cool air that provides nearly 20,000 pounds of lifting power using variable inlet guide vanes to modulate the airflow, along with an equivalent amount of thrust from the downward vectored rear exhaust to lift the aircraft. The Lift Fan utilizes a clutch that engages the shaft drive system for STOVL operations. Because the lift fan extracts power from the engine, exhaust temperatures are reduced by about 200 degrees compared to traditional STOVL systems.

The SDLF concept was successfully demonstrated through a Large Scale Powered Model (LSPM) in 1995-96 and during the flight-testing of the X-35B during the summer of 2001. The Lift Fan, a patented Lockheed Martin concept, was developed and produced by Rolls-Royce Corp. in Indianapolis, Indiana and in Bristol, England.

Robust Structure
Continuous tailhook-to-nose-gear structure and catapult-compatible nose gear launch system are strengthened for catapult and arresting loads.

Sophisticated Cockpit
The F-35 provides its pilot with unsurpassed situational awareness, positive target identification and precision strike under any weather condition. Mission systems integration and outstanding over-the-nose visibility features are designed to dramatically enhance pilot performance.
Thumbnail: F-35 Cockpit

Weapons Integration
The F-35 will employ a variety of US and allied weapons. From JDAMs to Sidewinders to the UK Storm Shadow, the F-35 has been designed to carry either internally or externally a large array of weapons.
Thumbnail: Weapons Placement

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