Air Dominance of the F-35A Lightning

The conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35A gives the U.S. Air Force and allies the power to dominate the skies – anytime, anywhere. The F-35A is an agile, versatile, high-performance, 9g capable multirole fighter that combines stealth, sensor fusion and unprecedented situational awareness.

The F-35A’s advanced sensor package is designed to gather, fuse and distribute more information than any fighter in history, giving operators unprecedented Situational Awareness and a decisive advantage over all adversaries. Its processing power, open architecture, sophisticated sensors, information fusion and flexible communication links make the F-35 an indispensable tool in future homeland defense, Joint and Coalition combat operations.

Because logistics support accounts for two-thirds of an aircraft’s life cycle cost, the F-35 is designed to achieve unprecedented levels of reliability and maintainability, combined with a highly responsive support and training system linked with the latest in information technology. The Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) integrates current performance, operational parameters, current configuration, scheduled upgrades and maintenance, component history, predictive diagnostics (prognostics) and health management, operations scheduling, training, mission planning and service support for the F-35. Essentially, ALIS performs behind-the-scenes monitoring, maintenance and prognostics to support the aircraft, ensure continued health and enhance operational planning and execution.

The F-35’s electronic sensors include the Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System (DAS). This system provides pilots with situational awareness in a sphere around the aircraft for enhanced missile warning, aircraft warning, and day/night pilot vision. Additionally, the aircraft is equipped with the Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS). The internally mounted EOTS provides extended range detection and precision targeting against ground targets, plus long range detection of air-to-air threats.

The F-35’s helmet mounted display system is the most advanced system of its kind. All the intelligence and targeting information an F-35 pilot needs to complete the mission is displayed on the helmet’s visor. This advanced technology eliminates the need for a Heads Up Display (HUD).

The F-35 contains state-of-the-art tactical data links that provide the secure sharing of data among its flight members as well as other airborne, surface and ground-based platforms required to perform assigned missions. The commitment of F-35 partner nations to common communications capabilities and web-enabled logistics support will enable a new level of coalition interoperability. These capabilities allow the F-35 to lead the defense community in the migration to the net-centric war fighting force of the future.

MAJOR KRISTIN "BEO" WOLFE

Major Kristin Wolfe is the Commander, F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team, 388th Fighter Wing, Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The mission of the F-35A Lightning II Demonstration team is to showcase the unique aerial capabilities of the Air Force’s most advanced 5th generation multi-role stealth fighter, the F-35A Lightning II, as well as highlight the history of the Air Force’s service through heritage formation flights. Additionally, she provides operational oversight and direction for the 13-personnel team, to include maintenance, aircrew flight equipment, and public affairs Airmen.

Major Wolfe entered the Air Force in 2011 after receiving her commission from the U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Program at the University of Alabama. She is an experienced fighter pilot with more than 800 flying hours in the F-22A Raptor and F-35A Lightning II. Her flying assignments include Undergraduate Pilot Training at Laughlin AFB, Texas, and fighter training in the F-22A at Langley AFB, Va., and operational assignments at Langley AFB, Va., and Hill Air Force Base, Utah.