X-35 - Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
Lockheed Martin leads a JSF X-35 team that includes Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, and Pratt & Whitney as program partners. The Lockheed Martin team capitalizes on the low-cost, rapid-prototyping, and advanced technology experience at the Lockheed Martin Palmdale facility; the integrated product team structure, critical stealth technologies, and lessons learned from the Lockheed Martin F-22 office in Marietta; and the total systems integration and world-class, lean production capability at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth. Northrop Grumman brings tactical aircraft integration, carrier suitability, stealth technologies, avionics systems integration, sensors, and advanced commercial aircraft manufacturing. BAE SYSTEMS provides its expertise and experience with short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) technology, subcontract management, and lean manufacturing. Though separated geographically, the team members share a virtual workspace created by shared databases and common audio, video, and computer systems. The Lockheed Martin JSF team is currently evaluating their flight demonstrator aircraft, the X-35A/B and X-35C.
The Lockheed Martin JSF team has developed three variants designed to meet the needs of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.K. Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. These variants share a highly common structure that includes the same fuselage and internal weapons bay. The Lockheed Martin aircraft have common outer mold lines with common structural geometries, identical wing sweeps, and similar tail shapes. The aircraft carry weapons in two parallel bays located aft of the main landing gear. The canopy, radar, ejection system, subsystems, and avionics are common. All of the aircraft are powered by a modification of the same core engine, the Pratt & Whitney F119.
Commonality and flexibility are the basis for the Lockheed Martin JSF design. The high degree of commonality among the service aircraft variants, and across the total development and production program, is a key to affordability. Cooperation allows the participating services to share development costs, which in turn greatly reduces total cost, when compared to an independent program for each service. Together, the services plan to purchase approximately 3,000 aircraft, so this highly common design will benefit from economies of scale. Additional international sales of approximately 2000 JSFs may further reduce costs.
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