first published on August 3, 2016 by Will
The United States Air Force has just declared their first squadron of F-35A Lightning II “Joint Strike Fighter” aircraft to be combat ready, meaning they can be deployed to fight anywhere in the world to fight at any time.
The USAF will be buying the most of Lockheed Martin’s aircraft, with a tentative order of 1,763 F-35A variants. Air Combat Command Gen. “Hawk” Carlisle bragged that the aircraft has “the ability to penetrate defensive airspace (and) the ability to deliver precision munitions with a sensor suite that fuses data from multiple information sources.”
The F-35A is the conventional takeoff and landing variant intended for the U.S. Air Force. It is the smallest and lightest F-35 version, and is the only variant equipped with an internal cannon, the GAU-22/A. The following video shows a recent formation flight demonstration consisting of four F-35A fifth generation stealth aircraft.
The F-35 has two other main models: The F-35B (USMC) short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant, and the F-35C (USN) carrier-based Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) variant. Watch the following video to see all three variants in action: