|The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multi-role fighters undergoing final development and testing by the United States.|
The U.S. Marines have declared the planes ready for combat while the U.S. Air Force plans to do so in the fall. The USAF “is making steady progress toward declaring F-35A initial operating capability between August and December 2016.” Initial operating capability is military-speak for when equipment is considered ready for combat.
|The F-35 is the most expensive defence project in US history.|
The stealth aircraft was developed at a cost of around $400bn, in a process dogged by delays and unforeseen costs.
Helmet Mounted Display System
|Documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed a large-scale industrial espionage campaign conducted by the Chinese Government to steal sensitive information on the advanced fighter aircraft. |
Chinese hackers have allegedly stolen as much as 50 terabytes of data, including the details of the fighter’s radar systems, engine schematics, “aft deck heating contour maps,” designs to cool exhaust gases and the method the jet uses to track targets.