There was a NOVA show last night about the competition for government contract for a ‘Joint Strike Fighter’ between the Lockheed-Martin X-35 and the Boeing X-32. Eventually, of course, the X-35 won contract. My question is where does the F-22 Raptor fit in here. Are both the F-22 and F-35 in production and will both be used for military service? A timeline would be helpful too, thanks.
The F/A-22 (recently renamed) is in low-rate production and the later stages of flight testing, and will enter USAF line service in 2005, eventually replacing the F-15. The F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter) is in development and is scheduled to enter service in 2008, with USAF, RAF, RN, and other services. It has 3 versions - conventional land-based, carrier, and short takeoff/vertical landing (with a lift fan up front and a swiveling exhaust nozzle in back). It is intended to replace essentially all US fighters other than the F-15, including the Harrier.
They do look similar from a distance, but the F-A-22 is much larger and has 2 engines with flap exhausts, while the F-35 has 1 engine and a round exhaust (which tilts downward for the STOVL version).
Lockheed Martin’s F/A-22 page and F-35 page, oddly out of date.
They’re designed for two different roles, so it’s not contradictory that they’ll both be in production. The JSF is a strike fighter, and the f22 is primarily an air supremacy fighter.
The JSF will basically replace our F16, while the F22 will replace the F15.