Other Award Nominees:

Defense Update News:

'Most Innovative Defense Technology' 2008 Award Nominee

F-35 Lightning II

Lockheed Martin, JSF Program Team

The Lightning II is the second 5th Generation fighter, (also known as Joint Strike Fighter) currently in development for the US military and allied air forces. 2008 was an important year for this program, with both A and B (V/STOL) prototypes flying. 2008 was also a year of challenge, where the aircraft had to fight its first major battle, encountered growing challenges by domestic and international competition, among partner nations, congress, and the U.S. armed services. By year's end, the Lightning seem to have passed these challenges successfully, despite growing concern to cost of the aircraft, when compared to other alternatives, such as the recent evaluation in Norway, Lightning II passed with flying colors.

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Reasons for our recommendation:

To justify its '5th Generation fighter' trademark, F-35 offers 'game changing' capabilities in every operational domain. Foremost is air dominance. While the F-35 will have to shoot enemy fighters from the sky and blast targets on the ground, like every other fighter.

However, F-35 is designed to do that with higher efficiency –utilizing dramatically improved situational awareness, employing on board and off-board sensors, collaboration and net-centric capability. Kill avoidance will be maintained by multi-spectral stealth, high maneuverability and capability of employing stand-off weapons.

Last, but not least – sustainability – the aircraft is designed for ultra-rapid turnaround cycles, and efficient maintenance and support, resulting in higher availability of aircraft. We believe that as this program moves from development into production, we believe the Lightning II will become the new yardstick to which other fighters will be measured.

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