Italeri 1419 1/72 JSF Program X-32A and X-35B
During the ‘90s the United States Department of Defence launched the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) contest to assign the production of a new 5th generation Multi-role combat aircraft. Boeing participated to the contest with the concept demonstrator aircraft X-32 while Lockheed Martin presented its XF-35 prototype. The Boeing X-32 was developed and realized around a large one piece carbon fibre composite delta wing and characterized by the big size air intake placed under the cockpit. The Lockheed Martin reply was based on the XF-35, using a lot of technology and aerodynamic solutions already successfully adopted on the fighter F-22 Raptor. For both concept demonstrator aircraft’s were developed several applications as the conventional take-off / landing version and the STOVL (short take-off and vertical landing) version. On 2001 the Department of Defence announced that the Lockheed Martin X-35 won the JSF competition and from it the new F-35 Lightning II was born.
Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is a development and acquisition program intended to replace a wide range of existing fighter, strike, and ground attack aircraft for the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Italy, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and their allies. After a competition between the Boeing X-32 and the Lockheed Martin X-35, a final design was chosen based on the X-35. This is the F-35 Lightning II, which will replace various tactical aircraft, including the US F-16, A-10, F/A-18A-D, AV-8B and British Harrier GR7, GR9s and Tornado GR4. The projected average annual cost of this program is $12.5 billion with an estimated program life-cycle cost of $1.1 trillion.
The JSF program was the result of the merger of the Common Affordable Lightweight Fighter (CALF) and Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) projects. The merged project continued under the JAST name until the engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD) phase, during which the project became the Joint Strike Fighter.
The CALF was a DARPA program to develop a STOVL strike fighter (SSF) for the United States Marine Corps and replacement for the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The United States Air Force passed over the F-16 Agile Falcon in the late 1980s, essentially an enlarged F-16, and continued to mull other designs. In 1992, the Marine Corps and Air Force agreed to jointly develop the Common Affordable Lightweight Fighter, also known as Advanced Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (ASTOVL). CALF project was chosen after Paul Bevilaqua persuaded the Air Force that his team’s concept (if stripped of its lift system) had potential as a complement to the F-22 Raptor. Thus, in a sense the F-35B begat the F-35A, not the other way around.
The Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) program was created in 1993, implementing one of the recommendations of a United States Department of Defense (DoD) “Bottom-Up Review to include the United States Navy in the Common Strike Fighter program. The review also led the Pentagon to continue the F-22 Raptor and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet programs, cancel the Multi-Role Fighter (MRF) and the A/F-X programs, and curtail F-16 and F/A-18C/D procurement. The JAST program office was established on 27 January 1994 to develop aircraft, weapons, and sensor technology with the aim of replacing several disparate US and UK aircraft with a single family of aircraft; the majority of those produced would replace F-16s. Merrill McPeak, former Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, has complained that Les Aspin’s decision to force all three services to use a single airframe greatly increased the costs and difficulty of the project.
In November 1995, the United Kingdom signed a memorandum of understanding to become a formal partner, and agreed to pay $200 million, or 10% of the concept demonstration phase.
In 1997, Canada’s Department of National Defence signed on to the Concept Demonstration phase with an investment of US$10 million. This investment allowed Canada to participate in the extensive and rigorous competitive process where Boeing and Lockheed Martin developed and competed their prototype aircraft