• Manufacturing

    Manufacturing

    Building the F-35

    F-35 components are built around the world and brought together on a common production line

    Read More
    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
  • Flight Test

    Flight Test

    Proving Capabilities

    Get the latest information about F-35 flight test progress.

    Read More
    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
  • Who’s Flying

    Who’s Flying

    F-35 Bases

    See where F-35s are flying test, training and operational missions.

    Read More
    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
  • F-35 Variants

    F-35 Variants

    5th Generation Capability Lands Virtually Anywhere

    Learn about the differences between the three variants of the Lightning II

    Read More
    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4

About the F-35

The Multi-variant, Multirole 5th Generation Fighter

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least ten other countries.

Enabled by global partnerships, the F-35 offers unprecedented capability and supportability across the spectrum of military operations. The U.S. has partnered with close allies to ensure the program's success through military and industrial cooperation. When allies fly the F-35, the coalition is strengthened through the ability to share information and resources.

The Lightning II is a single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed for many missions with advanced, integrated sensors built into every aircraft. Missions that were traditionally performed by small numbers of specialized aircraft like intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and electronic attack can now be executed by a squadron of F-35s, bringing new capabilities to many allied forces.

The F-35 is developed, produced, and supported by an international team of leading aerospace companies. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor, continuing its 100-year history of aircraft research and design with the Lightning II. Principal partners Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems build the center and aft fuselages, respectively. Northrop Grumman also brings its expertise in carrier aircraft and low-observable stealth technology to the F-35 program and supports logistics, sustainment, modeling and simulation and mission planning. BAE Systems contributes a rich heritage of capabilities, including short takeoff and vertical landing experience, advanced lean manufacturing, flight testing and air systems sustainment. Pratt & Whitney builds the F-35's F135 propulsion system, the world's most powerful fighter engine.