Technological progress is not only related to consumer electronics. Like our smartphones or televisions, weapons are evolving gradually to become better and better. Therefore, the fighters got to the point where we have the F-35 Lightning.
It is a masterpiece by Lockheed Martin, a top-class armament company that has poured a huge amount of money into the development of a flying computer and its advanced hi-tech weapons. The development required a crazy $ 60 billion.
However, the project will cost US taxpayers a total of up to $ 1.5 trillion. This amount includes development, procurement, service and maintenance costs for 55 years. The US is planning to buy crazy 2,400 pieces.
The price of the most expensive variant of the F-35 Lightning can shoot up to a staggering $ 115 million. However, if we add development costs, this amount will increase by a few million.
The high spending of the project is, of course, felt on the equipment of the fighter jet. Lochheed Martin's customer has a choice of three different options with a configurable weapon arsenal. The first is named F-35A, the second F-35B (vertical landing) and the third F-35C.
All three variants have advanced stealth technology, so the missiles are hidden in the bowels. Otherwise, they would be much easier to identify, and there is an increased risk of being hit.
With the so-called invisibility, the F-35 Lightning is also assisted by special materials that make up a well-formed structure. Precisely because it has square curves so as not to attract the attention of the enemy radar.
Cannon and missiles
As for weapons, the pilot can use a GAU-22 / A (25 mm caliber) cannon or fire any of the combat missiles. The inner cartridges can store four pieces – either four air-to-air types or two air-to-air types and two air-to-ground types.
In addition, fighter technology communicates with the technique of the second fighter. Because they are in one wireless network, they exchange current enemy location data. Their pilots are in the picture, even though they are just thousands of kilometers from the battlefield.
8 million lines of code
The combat capabilities of the F-35 Lightning depend primarily on the source code.
It may be a bit unusual, but they have engaged an army of software developers in the development of a modern fighter to open the door to new possibilities. Therefore, it contains up to 8 million lines, up to 4x more than the F-22 Raptor.
Almost everything manages the software here, so the more advanced, the more advanced combat capabilities are available.