The F-35 Lightning II, also known as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, is a single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth fighter that has just been declared operational by three branches of the U.S. Department of Defense. The fifth generation combat aircraft is designed to perform ground attack, aerial intelligence and air defense missions. The F-35 has three main models: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing version used by the Air Force, the F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) version used by the Marine Corps, and the F-35C carrier-based version that will be used by the Navy.
The F-35 is a A 5th Generation fighter with advanced stealth, exceptional agility and maneuverability, sensor and information fusion. The F-35 has network-enabled operations allowing multiple aircraft to communicate with each other in flight. 5th Generation technology provides greater survivability, situational awareness, and effectiveness for pilots, as well as improved readiness and lower support costs. As a true 5th Generation fighter, the F-35 has stealth designed in as part of the aircraft from the beginning.