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US Air Force’s F-35 to make historic debut at Aero India 2023

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Bengaluru: The United States Air Force’s (USAF) newest fifth-generation fighters will make their debut at Aero India 2023. After a journey from Hill Air Force Base in Utah, United States, the F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team will impress crowds with a demo of its unique aerial capabilities at Aero India 2023.

The F-35A Lightning II from Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska will be on static display at the event.

The F-35’s engine produces 43,000 pounds of thrust and 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.

In addition to the F-35, an F-16 Fighting Falcon duo will conduct daily aerial demonstrations from February 13-17, showcasing the capability of one of the USAF’s leading fighter jets. On static display, the F-A-18E and F-A-18F Super Hornet are multi-role fighters.

Major General Julian C Cheater, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs, said, “The F-35 represents the leading-edge of US fighter technology. Aero India is an ideal forum to showcase the most advanced, capable, lethal, and interoperable weapons systems the US has to offer. This system and others are designed to penetrate and defeat advanced adversary air defenses.”

According US Air Force website, the F-35A replaces the US Air Force’s aging fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-10 Thunderbolt II, which have been the primary fighter aircraft for more than 20 years, and bring with it an enhanced capability to survive in the advanced threat environment in which it was designed to operate.

With its aerodynamic performance and advanced integrated avionics, the F-35A will provide next-generation stealth, enhanced situational awareness, and reduced vulnerability for the United States and allied nations.

The F-35 will be far and away the world’s most advanced multi-role fighter. There exists an aging fleet of tactical aircraft worldwide. The F-35 is intended to solve that problem.

On 26 October 2001, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Edward C.

“Pete” Aldridge Jr. announced the decision to proceed with the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme. This approval advanced the program to the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase. The Secretary of the Air Force James G. Roche announced the selection of Lockheed Martin teamed with Northrop Grumman and BAE to develop and then produce the JSF aircraft.

During this SDD phase, the programme will focus on developing a family of strike aircraft that significantly reduces life-cycle cost while meeting operational requirements.

The requirements represent a balanced approach to affordability, lethality, survivability and supportability.

The programme will use a phased block approach that addresses aircraft and weapons integration and provides a validated and verified air system for Initial Operational Capability requirements.

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