F-35 Partnership With Canada
As a partner on the F-35 Lightning II program Canadian industry is already contributing to the production of the F-35 and, in turn, the F-35 is contributing to the Canadian aerospace industry by developing indigenous capabilities and bringing new manufacturing and engineering technologies to the country.
Canada's participation in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program began in 1997, allowing the nation to be a part of the selection of the fighter aircraft that will recapitalize three U.S. fighter fleets as well as numerous allied countries. Even prior to Canada’s decision to become a program partner in 2002, Canadian industry was actively involved in the JSF project. Domestic industry continues to benefit from the development of the F-35 through the localized establishment of advanced manufacturing technologies.
The F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant is the best value solution for replacing the CF-18 fleet. The F-35A is a stealthy 5th Generation fighter for the U.S. Air Force and strong allies including Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Turkey, Australia, Israel and Japan. With air forces across the globe flying the same aircraft, allies can take advantage of advanced fighter technologies and inherent interoperability while leveraging economies of scale to enhance affordability.
The F-35 has the capability required to protect Canada with a mission radius greater than 700 nautical miles in low observable combat configurations and internal fuel capacity of more than 18,500 pounds. When the mission doesn't require low observability, the F-35 can carry more than 18,000 pounds of ordnance in internal weapon bays and on external hard points.
With sophisticated sensors built in, the F-35 maintains a decisive operational advantage without sacrificing low observability with external pods. Embedded network-enabled capability allows information gathered by the sensors to be shared with commanders at sea, in the air or on the ground.
In 2013, the U.S. Air Force officially began F-35A pilot training at Eglin Air Force Base and operational test and evaluation at Edwards and Nellis Air Force Bases. The test flight program will continue weapons and high angle of attack testing in 2013, further proving the F-35's capability.