The F-35 is beating the stealthiness expected of it “at maturity,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program manager. Officials must still verify this claim “with more data,” she told reporters on June 9 during a company-sponsored media day in Arlington, Va. She noted that Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mike Hostage recently told Breaking Defense that the F-35 needs no jamming support from other aircraft, such as Boeing’s EF-18G Growler, in a heavily defended battlespace to “go where it needs to go.” Hostage said the F-35 actually has better stealth than the F-22. “I can’t say some of those things” due to classification, commented Martin, but she said Hostage accurately represented the F-35’s capabilities. The Growler and similar platforms are going to be “helpful” if there are “fourth generation aircraft … and they need some protection,” but the F-35 has “all the stealth we said it would have,” and can “get in and get out safely with the electronic warfare it has on it,” she asserted. The F-35’s stealth is checked as it exits production and again just before government acceptance. “And, after we fly it a few months, we put it back through the [stealth test] range and verify the stealth is still there,” said Martin.
Feb. 23, 2024
The Department of the Air Force’s space acquisition boss called for industry to stop low-bidding contracts and for the Pentagon to only select realistic proposals on Feb. 23, arguing that failures to do so eventually forces the Space Force to “rob our future to pay for the past.”