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Example content from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
F-35 Lightning II
Gray fighter aircraft soars in a clear blue sky with sea coast below.
An F-35C Lightning II, marked CF-1, conducts a test flight over the Chesapeake Bay
Role Stealth multirole fighter
National origin United States
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
First flight 15 December 2006
Introduction after 2016[1]
Status In initial production, in U.S. service as a training aircraft[2]
Produced 2006–present
Number built 63[3]
Unit cost F-35A: US$197 million (weapons system flyaway cost, 2012)[4]
F-35B: US$237.7M (weap. sys. cost, 2012)[5]
F-35C: US$236.8M (weap. sys. cost, 2012)[5]
Developed from Lockheed Martin X-35

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability.[6][7] The F-35 has three main models; the F-35A is a conventional takeoff and landing variant, the F-35B is a short take off and vertical-landing variant, and the F-35C is a carrier-based variant.

The F-35 is descended from the X-35, the product of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. JSF development is being principally funded by the United States, with the United Kingdom and other partner governments providing additional funding. The partner nations are either NATO members or close U.S. allies. It is being designed and built by an aerospace industry team led by Lockheed Martin. The F-35 took its first flight on 15 December 2006.

The United States intends to buy a total of 2,443 aircraft to provide the bulk of its tactical airpower for the US Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy over the coming decades. The United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, Israel, and Japan all will equip their air and/or naval forces with the F-35.[8][9][10][11][12] However the Japanese have warned that they may halt their purchase if the unit costs increase. The United States is projected to spend an estimated US$323 billion for development and procurement on the F-35 program, making it the most expensive defense program ever.[13] Its total lifecycle cost is estimated to be US$1 trillion over its 50-year life.[14]

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