Strike Fighter (JSF)

The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program, formerly the Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) Program, is the Department of Defense's focal point for defining affordable next generation strike aircraft weapon systems for the Navy, Air Force, Marines, and our allies. The focus of the program is affordability -- reducing the development cost, production cost, and cost of ownership of the JSF family of aircraft. The program is accomplishing this by facilitating the Services' development of fully validated, affordable operational requirements, and lowering risk by investing in and demonstrating key leveraging technologies and operational concepts prior to the start of Engineering and Manufacturing Development (E&MD) of the JSF in 2001.

The JSF will fulfill stated Service needs as follows:

USN -- first day of war, survivable strike fighter aircraft to complement F/A-18E/F 

USAF -- multirole aircraft (primary-air-to-ground) to replace the F-16 and A-10 

USMC -- STOVL aircraft to replace the AV-8B and F/A-18 

United Kingdom Royal Navy & Royal Air Force -- STOVL aircraft to replace Sea Harriers & GR.7s

Joint Strike Fighter Facts


Unit flyaway cost well below evaluation standards of Conventional Takeoff and Landing (CTOL) --     $28M; Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) -- $35M; Carrier-based (CV) -- $38M (BY94$). Highly common multi-service aircraft: 70 - 90 percent commonality for all service variants (significantly reduces manufacturing, support and training costs).

Mid-22,000-pound empty weight CTOL/STOVL aircraft, mid-24,000-pound empty CV aircraft. Maximum takeoff weight for all variants approximately 50,000 pounds. More than 15,000 pounds internal fuel capability plus more than 13,000 pounds payload -- CTOL/STOVL aircraft.

More than 16,000 pounds internal fuel capability plus more than 17,000 pounds payload -- CV  aircraft. Combat radius, internal fuel (design and overload) plus internal air-to-air and internal air-to-ground  ordnance, well in excess of evaluation standards; over 600 nautical mile radius for all service variants. 

Customer Needs

 U.S. Navy
        First-day-of-war, highly survivable strike fighter to complement the F/A-18E/F.
 U.S. Air Force
        Air-to-ground strike aircraft replacing the F-16 and complementing the F-22A.
 U.S. Marine Corps
        Replaces both the F/A-18 and AV-8B as their only STOVL strike fighter.
 U.K. Royal Navy & Royal Air Force
        Replaces Sea Harriers and GR.7s as a supersonic strike fighter.
 Other Countries
        Potential JSF customers include current operators of F-16, F/A-18, and AV-8B.