F-35 Lightning II

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The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, stealth, multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions.[11][12] The F-35 has three main models; one is a conventional takeoff and landing variant, the second is a short take off and vertical-landing variant, and the third is a carrier-based variant.

The F-35 is descended from the X-35, the product of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. JSF development is being principally funded by the United States, with the United Kingdom and other partner governments providing additional funding.[13] It is being designed and built by an aerospace industry team led by Lockheed Martin.[13] The F-35 took its first flight on 15 December 2006.[1]

The United States intends to buy a total of 2,443 aircraft for an estimated US$323 billion, making it the most expensive defense program ever.[14] The United States Air Force (USAF) budget data in 2010, along with other sources, projects the F-35 to have a flyaway cost that ranges between US$89 million and US$200 million over the planned production of F-35s, depending on the variant.[15][16][17][18] Lockheed Martin expects to reduce government cost estimates by 20%.[19]

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