The F-35 is now entering service in increasing numbers, but it relies primarily on legacy weapons. Jon Lake contends this could yet be a chink in its otherwise formidable armour.
LIGHTNING II IN FOCUS
The F-35 promises to deliver unmatched avionics and sensor potential, its onboard and offboard sensors giving its pilots a fully fused picture and a previously unimaginable degree of situational awareness. Its low-observable (LO – stealthy) design is said to make it effectively invisible to many enemy defensive systems, delaying detection until it is too late to react effectively. Cutting-edge data links and advanced software algorithms combine to make the aircraft a fully networkenabled key node in the US Department of Defense’s Global Information Grid.