Navy carrier-based F-35C stealth jet fighter rolled out by Lockheed Martin

FORT WORTH, Texas, 30 July 2009. Engineers at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth, Texas, plant rolled out the U.S. Navy's first-ever stealth fighter, the F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF).

FORT WORTH, Texas, 30 July 2009. Engineers at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth, Texas, plant rolled out the U.S. Navy's first-ever stealth fighter, the F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF).

The jet fighter will enable the Navy to possess 5th generation fighter capabilities at sea, extending America's reach and reducing the time line from threat to response, says a company representative.

"The JSF will show the world that our sailors will never be in a fair fight because this airplane will top anything that comes its way," Roughead says of the F-35. "It will give our sailors and pilots the tactical and technical advantage in the skies, and it will relieve our aircraft as they age out."

The first F-35C, known as CF-1, will undergo a wide-ranging series of ground tests before its first flight, scheduled for late 2009. CF-1 is the ninth F-35 test aircraft to be rolled out, and joins a fleet of F-35A (conventional takeoff and landing) and F-35B (short takeoff/vertical landing) variants that have logged more than 100 flights.

The F-35C is on schedule to meet the Navy's Initial Operational Capability in 2015, and represents a leap in technology and capability over existing fighters, combining stealth with supersonic speed and high agility. The Lightning II employs the most powerful and comprehensive sensor package ever incorporated into a fighter.

The F-35 and F-22 are the world's only 5th generation fighters, characterized by a combination of advanced stealth with supersonic speed and high agility, sensor fusion, network-enabled capabilities, and advanced sustainment.

The F-35 is a supersonic, multi-role, 5th generation strike fighter. Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide, will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for 11 nations initially.

Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.

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