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Joint Strike Fighter Named Lightning II

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley addresses an audience of dignitaries and industry officials at the unveiling of the F-35 at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. Moseley officially named the stealth jet Lightning II. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Jul 07, 2006
The Joint Strike Fighter fighter was named the F-35 "Lightning II" Friday to evoke similarly named US and British warplanes of the past, the air force chief of staff said Friday. General T. Michael Moseley announced the new name at a ceremony at a Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas where the stealthy, next generation fighter is being built.

He said it was named after the World War II-vintage P-38 Lightning and the Cold War-era British-made Lightning.

The United States and Britain are the major partners in the development of the F-35, which is being built in three variants -- one for conventional landings, another for carrier landings and a third for short take offs and vertical landings.

The conventional landing variant of the fighter is scheduled to make its first flight later this year.

The JSF is expected to be the biggest US fighter program ever, eventually replacing a wide array of US and British fighter aircraft.

The Defense Department plans to buy 2,400 of the stealthy multi-role fighters and international sales could account for another 2,000 to 3,500 aircraft.

Britain has invested two billion dollars in the JSF program and plans to buy 150 of the fighters worth 8.6 billion dollars.

In addition to the United States and Britain, eight other countries are involved in the program.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
Lockheed Martin

First STOVL F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Takes Shape
Samlesbury, UK (SPX) Jul 06, 2006
BAE Systems has started assembling the aft fuselage of the first short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). Assembly started on time with the loading of the first three parts of the left hand aft fuselage into an assembly jig at the company's state-of-the-art F-35 JSF facility at Samlesbury, England.

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