Hobby Master HA6210 US Navy Lockheed-Martin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter - XE-100/168733, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), August 2022 [Chrome Reflective Coating] (1:72 Scale)
"The F-35 program executive officer, has stated that the 'F-35 enjoys a significant Combat Loss Exchange Ratio advantage over the current and future air-to-air threats, to include Sukhois, which are currently being flown by the Russian, Indian, and Chinese Air Forces.'"
- Maj Gen Charles R. Davis, USAF, the F-35 program executive officer
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a fifth-generation, single-seat, single-engine, stealth-capable military strike fighter, a multirole aircraft that can perform close air support, tactical bombing, and air superiority fighter missions. The F-35 has three different models; one is the conventional takeoff and landing variant, the second is short takeoff 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. Its development is being principally funded by the United States, with the United Kingdom, and other partner governments providing additional funding. It is being designed and built by an aerospace industry team led by Lockheed Martin with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems as major partners. Demonstrator aircraft flew in 2000, with the first flight on December 15th, 2006.
The F-35C combines this unique capability of operating from a carrier deck with the unmatched 5th Generation capabilities of stealth, fused sensors and reliability, making the F-35C the Navy?s future first-day-of-the-war strike fighter.
The Navy and Marines require an aircraft capable of overcoming a variety of threats - surface-to-air missiles, air-to-air missiles and tactical aircraft. By leveraging this potent combination of stealth, advanced jamming and threat system destruction, the F-35C enhances survivability and increases mission success rates.
The F-35C variant has larger wings and more robust landing gear than the other variants, making it suitable for catapult launches and fly-in arrestments aboard naval aircraft carriers. Its wingtips also fold to allow for more room on the carrier?s deck while deployed.
The F-35C also has the greatest internal fuel capacity of the three F-35 variants. The F-35C carries nearly 20,000 pounds of internal fuel for longer range and better persistence than any other fighter in a combat configuration. And, like the F-35B, the F-35C uses probe and drogue refueling. This allows the Navy to operate its carriers a safe distance from the threat while its fighters reach remote targets.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a US Navy Lockheed-Martin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter that is clad in a chrome reflective coating and embarked aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and undergoing aerial detection trials in 2022.
Release Date: ?
Historical Account: "Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall" - The sudden arrival of mirror-like coatings on all of America's stealthy tactical jets (F-22, F-35, F-117) definitely grabbed a lot of interest starting in late 2021 and appeared repeatedly through 2022 in various forms. But all the known instances of combat aircraft receiving these exotic treatments, which are thought to decrease the signature of the aircraft, most likely in the infrared spectrum, have been on examples flying for testing purposes, although the concept dates back decades. Now, one F-35C that was operating aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln off the California coast has appeared this week with similar coatings.
The photos of the jet in question were published by the Defense Department and show the F-35C doing a touch-and-go aboard the carrier. Two things are quite intriguing about the F-35C being shown. First is the multi-toned mirror-like treatment applied to the outside and inside of its vertical tails. The installations on each tail are made up of patches of dark and shiny sheet and tile-like coatings. Similar coating has been shown to change dramatically based on the angle of view, going from opaque to transparent, and in some cases, from shiny to dark, based on where the viewer is looking at it from. The upper wings also appear to have strips of the same roughly three types of coatings we have seen on other stealthy aircraft.