Lockheed Martin F-35 for Poland. 2019.

Kraków 2019-12-30

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

Lockheed X-35. 2004. Photo by Lockheed Martin
Lockheed X-35. 2004. Photo by Lockheed Martin

Lockheed X-35. 2004. Photo by Lockheed Martin
Lockheed X-35. 2004. Photo by Lockheed Martin

Lockheed F-35. 2018. Photo by Lockheed Martin
Lockheed F-35. 2018. Photo by Lockheed Martin

Lockheed F-35. 2018. Photo by Lockheed Martin
Lockheed F-35. 2018. Photo by Lockheed Martin

In Poland

In 2015, the Polish Government announced that plans are for the purchase of Lockheed Martin F-35 fifth generation fighters. In April 2016, the Ministry of National Defense reported that the selection of the successor to Su-22 and MiG-29 aircraft will start by 2022.

Nobody expected that Su-22 and MiG-29 planes would wear out so quickly and their degradation would be greater than planned. Despite the decision to renovate and extend the resources of Su-22 and MiG-29 aircraft, which was taken by previous management of the Ministry of National Defense, it is necessary to replace them, as its have negligible combat value on the modern battlefield. The bold plans of the Polish Army were to obtain 48-60 new multi-purpose combat aircraft.

In March 2019, the Minister of Defense, Mariusz Błaszczak, listed the HARPIA program regarding the purchase of fifth generation aircraft among the most important programs. He said then: "The HARPIA program is to meet two basic goals - increasing the capabilities of the Armed Forces and ensuring security for Poland and our pilots. And the priority is the replacement of the post-Soviet Su-22 and MiG-29 aircraft. "MON has planned to buy 32 Lockheed Martin F-35 A aircraft.

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters. The fifth-generation combat aircraft is designed to perform ground-attack and air-superiority missions. It has three main models: the F-35 A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, the F-35 B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant, and the F-35 C carrier-based catapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) variant. The F-35 descends from the Lockheed Martin X-35, the winning design of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. It is built by Lockheed Martin and many subcontractors, including Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, and BAE Systems.

The United States principally funds F-35 development, with additional funding from other NATO members and close U.S. allies, including the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, and Turkey. These funders receive subcontracts to manufacture components for the aircraft. Several other countries have ordered, or are considering ordering, the aircraft.

As the largest and most expensive military program ever, the F-35 became the subject of much scrutiny and criticism in the U.S. and in other countries. In 2013 and 2014, critics argued that the plane was "plagued with design flaws”. By 2014, the program was $163 billion over budget and seven years behind schedule. Critics also contend that the program's high sunk costs and political momentum make it "too big to kill".

The F-35 first flew on 15 December 2006. However, durability testing indicated the service life of early-production F-35B aircraft is well under the expected 8,000 flight hours, and may be as low as 2,100 flight hours.

The U.S. plans to buy 2,663 F-35s, which will provide the bulk of the crewed tactical airpower of the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps in coming decades. Deliveries of the F-35 for the U.S. military are scheduled until 2037 with a projected service life up to 2070. Introduction - F-35B: 31 July 2015 (USMC), F-35A: 2 August 2016 (USAF), F-35C: 28 February 2019 (USN).

Start of the JSF program.

The F-35 development started in 1992 with the origins of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program and is to culminate in full production in 2018. The X-35 first flew on 24 October 2000 and the F-35 A on 15 December 2006. The F-35 was developed to replace most US fighter jets with variants of one design common to all branches of the military. It was developed in co-operation with a number of foreign partners. And unlike the F-22 Raptor, intended to be available for export. Three variants were designed: the F-35 A (CTOL), the F-35 B (STOVL), and the F-35 C (CATOBAR).

The JSF program underwent a metamorphosis not only for technical reasons. At that time, the Socialist Bloc, clumsily managed by the communists, was liquidated. Therefore, the JSF program had to be adapted to the changed political conditions.

The F-35 airframe was designed as a very modern construction, based mainly on composites and high-strength mixtures of aluminum with other metals.

Structural composites in the F-35 are 35% of the airframe weight (up from 25% in the F-22). The majority of these are bismaleimide and composite epoxy materials. The F-35 will be the first mass-produced aircraft to include structural nanocomposites, namely carbon nanotube-reinforced epoxy. Experience of the F-22's problems with corrosion led to the F-35 using a gap filler that causes less galvanic corrosion to the airframe's skin, designed with fewer gaps requiring filler and implementing better drainage.

Testing

The first F-35A (designated AA-1) was rolled out in Fort Worth, Texas, on 19 February 2006. In September 2006, the first engine run of the F135 in an airframe took place. On 15 December 2006, the F-35A completed its maiden flight.

The first F-35B (designated BF-1) made its maiden flight on 11 June 2008. Flight testing of the STOVL propulsion system began on 7 January 2010. The F-35B's first hover was on 17 March 2010, followed by its first vertical landing the next day. During a test flight on 10 June 2010, the F-35B STOVL aircraft achieved supersonic speeds.

During this time, defects in the form of broken frames were detected. This defect required changes in the airframe structure.

In June 2009, it was announced that the F-35 program was delayed by two years.

The F-35C's maiden flight took place on 7 June 2010, at NAS Fort Worth JRB. On 9 March 2011, all F-35s were grounded after a dual generator failure and oil leak in flight; the cause of the incident was discovered to have been the result of faulty maintenance.

On 2 August 2011, an F-35's integrated power package (IPP) failure during a standard engine test at Edwards Air Force Base led to the F-35 being immediately grounded for two weeks.

On 25 October 2011, the F-35A reached its designed top speed of Mach 1.6 for the first time. On 11 February 2013, an F-35A completed its final test mission for clean wing flutter, reporting to be clear of flutter at speeds up to Mach 1.6.

In 2011, landing tests of the F-35 C were carried out. During eight attempts, the braking line could not be caught once. It was necessary to redesign the braking hook.

On 6 October 2012, the F-35A dropped its first bomb, followed three days later by an AIM-120 AMRAAM. Over the next three months, various types of weapons were tested, dropping a dozen or so bombs and firing a dozen missiles. The missiles were fired in internal chambers as well as from external weapon nodes.

On 16 November 2012, the U.S. Marines received the first F-35 B at MCAS Yuma, and the VMFA(AW)-121 unit is to be redesignated from a Boeing F/A-18 Hornet unit to an F-35 B squadron. A February 2013 Time article revealed that Marine pilots are not allowed to perform a vertical landing—the maneuver is deemed too dangerous, and it is reserved only for Lockheed test pilots.

On June 23, 2014, the F-35 B crash occurred at the Eglin air force base in Florida. The pilot managed to save himself. During the start, the compressors' three-stage blades were torn out. They pierced the fan guard, the internal fuel tank, hydraulic and fuel pipes. There was a fire in which the plane would burn. As a result, the F-35 aircraft was canceled at Farnborough Airshow in England in 2014.

On April 11, 2016 tests of refueling of the F-35 A aircraft from the KDC-10 tanker were started in the Netherlands.

The F-35A and F-35B were cleared for flight training in early 2012. The aircraft were restricted to basic maneuvers with no tactical training allowed.

Air Force pilot training F-35A began in January 2013 at Eglin Air Force Base; the program could train 100 pilots and 2,100 maintainers at once.

In general, countries participating in the F-35 program have limited the number of ordered aircraft or have delayed their entry into service. For example, Italy did it. However, no one questions the F-35 combat abilities, which are impressive. But the operating costs and workload per one hour of the F-35 flight is more than twice the time of servicing the F-18 Super Hornet aircraft.

Combat use

On 22 May 2018, Israeli Air Force chief Amikam Norkin said that the Israeli Air Force had employed the F-35 in two attacks on two battle fronts, the first time any F-35 was used in a combat operation by any country.

On 27 September 2018, a United States Marines Corps F-35B attacked a Taliban target in Afghanistan, the first U.S. combat employment. The F-35B took off from the USS Essex amphibious assault ship in the Arabian Sea.

Accidents

The F-35 first crashed on 28 September 2018, when a USMC F-35B crashed near Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, after the pilot ejected safely. All F-35s were grounded until each could be inspected for a faulty engine fuel line, and the line replaced if necessary.

On 9 April 2019, a Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A attached to Misawa Air Base disappeared from radar during a training mission over the Pacific Ocean, when it was about 84 miles (135 km) east of the Aomori Prefecture. The aircraft was confirmed to have crashed after debris from it was found on the water. The pilot's fate is still unknown.

Operators

F-35A operators (Royal Australian Air Force, Belgian Air Component, Royal Danish Air Force, Israeli Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, Royal Norwegian Air Force, Royal Netherlands Air Force, Republic of Korea Air Force, Turkish Air Force) 
F-35B operators (Royal Air Force / Royal Navy) 
F-35A and F-35B operators (Italian Air Force / Italian Navy) 
F-35A, F-35B and F-35C operators (US Air Force / US Marine Corps / US Navy)

F-35 Construction

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters. The fifth-generation combat aircraft is designed to perform ground-attack and air-superiority missions. It has three main models: the F-35 A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, the F-35 B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant, and the F-35 C carrier-based catapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) variant. The F-35 descends from the Lockheed Martin X-35, the winning design of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. It is built by Lockheed Martin and many subcontractors, including Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, and BAE Systems.

F-35 cockpit



The remote has a touch screen (20x8 inches) of 50x20 cm in front of you. Adacel speech recognition system. Display system mounted in a pilot helmet. HOTAS system. Martin-Baker US16E ejection seat. The seat is commonly used in fighters, but it can threaten pilots due to the heavier helmet than usual.

F-35 A powerplant

The Pratt & Whitney F135 powers the F-35. An alternative engine, the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136, was being developed until it was cancelled by its manufacturers in December 2011 for lack of funding from the Pentagon. The F135 and F136 engines are not designed to supercruise. However, the F-35 can briefly fly at Mach 1.2 for 150 miles without the use of an afterburner. The F-35 has a maximum speed of over Mach 1.6. With a maximum takeoff weight of 60,000 lb (27,000 kg). In testing, the engine F135 has demonstrated a maximum thrust of over 50,000 lbf (220 kN) making it the most powerful engine ever installed in a fighter aircraft as.

Representatives of the USF air force stated that the F-35 is twice as loud as the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. Residents who live near airports where F-35 planes are stationed have reported the need for environmental impact studies. The fact is that US NAVY equips its sailors with a new type of hearing protection.

Armament


The aircraft has internal chambers for weapons, which causes the radiolocation hiding. It is also possible to suspend the weapon on external nodes.
F-35 A is armed with a GAU-22 / A, four-barrel gun, caliber 25 mm. The gun is mounted internally.

Data T-T F-35

Length: 50 ft 6 in (15.39 m)

Wingspan: 35 ft (11 m)

Height: 14 ft 2.5 in (4.331 m)

Wing area: 460 sq ft (43 m2)

Empty weight: 28,999 lb (13,154 kg)

Gross weight: 49,441 lb (22,426 kg)

Max takeoff weight: 70,000 lb (31,751 kg)

Fuel capacity: 18,498 lb (8,391 kg) internal fuel

Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney F135 afterburning turbofan, 28,000 lbf (120 kN) thrust dry, 43,000 lbf (190 kN) with afterburner

Maximum speed: 1,042 kn (1,199 mph; 1,930 km/h) (tested to Mach 1.61)

Maximum speed: Mach 1.6

Range: 1,500 nmi (1,726 mi; 2,778 km) +

Combat range: 669 nmi (770 mi; 1,239 km) - Combat radius 760 nmi (870 mi; 1,410 km) - Combat radius (interdiction mission on internal fuel, for internal air to air configuration) Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,000 m)

g limits: +9g

Wing loading: 107.5 lb/sq ft (525 kg/m2) at Gross weight

Thrust/weight: 0.87 lbf/lb (0.0085 kN/kg) with full internal fuel

1.07 lbf/lb (0.0105 kN/kg) with 50% internal fuel

Crew: 1

Armament

Guns: 1 × General Dynamics 25 mm (0.984 in) GAU-22/A 4-barrel rotary cannon, internally mounted with 180 rounds

Hardpoints: 6 × external pylons on wings with a capacity of 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) and two internal bays with a capacity of up to 5,700 lb (2,590 kg); total weapons payload is 18,000 lb (8,100 kg),with provisions to carry combinations of.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman