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 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
|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.
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
|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
|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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Continuous tailhook-to-nose-gear structure and catapult-compatible
nose gear launch system are strengthened for catapult and
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.
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.