The Future is here! The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multi-role combat aircraft is designed to perform both air superiority and strike missions. It can also provide electronic warfare and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. Lockheed Martin, the prime F-35 contractor, with partners Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems, produces the aircraft as three main variants: the conventional takeoff and landing F-35A (CTOL), the short take-off and vertical-landing F-35B (STOVL), and the carrier-based F-35C.
The F-35B entered service with the U.S. Marine Corps in July 2015, followed by the U.S. Air Force F-35A in August 2016 and the U.S. Navy F-35C in February 2019, and was first used in combat in 2018 by the Israeli Air Force. The U.S. plans to acquire a total of 2,456 F-35s through 2044, which will represent the bulk of the crewed tactical airpower of the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps for several decades. The aircraft is projected to operate until 2070 and possibly beyond.