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Wider F-35 Aircraft Replacement Scheme in the Works For NATO

U.S. Air Force photograph/released.

Sources close to the TACAIRNET team have just hit us with a major development… The F-35 Lightning II, the Swiss Army knife of fighter aircraft, has been designed to replace older, aging fourth generation fighters in US and NATO inventories, such as the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet and the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. But it apparently won’t just stop there.

“In the spirit of Kelly Johnson, we went over to the pilots and we asked them what they wanted in a fighter, kinda like what he did when he designed the F-104 Starfighter … Most of them wanted a space on the rear of the aircraft near the thrust nozzle for a bumper sticker… you know, the one that say ‘my other ride is a Corvette’? They also wanted a few new things in the cockpit, so we made some positive progress in that area too.”

-Aldous Huckstable, engineer

The controversial Lightning II has been rumored to be due for an upgraded series, the F-35A/B/C/D+, which will carry a redesigned cockpit featuring a number of important upgrades and add-ons requested by pilots who’ve been involved in bringing the F-35A/B/C to Initial Operating Capability (IOC). “In the spirit of Kelly Johnson, we went over to the pilots and we asked them what they wanted in a fighter, kinda like what he did when he designed the F-104 Starfighter,” said program engineer Aldous Huckstable. “Most of them wanted a space on the rear of the aircraft near the thrust nozzle for a bumper sticker… you know, the one that say ‘my other ride is a Corvette’? They also wanted a few new things in the cockpit, so we made some positive progress in that area too.” According to a development spokesman, the A+ cockpit will include the CMSCCS and NSISGSS, the former of which will be linked up to the HOTAS (Hands On Throttle And Stick) control stick. CMSCCS, Console Mounted Selfie Capture/Collection System, will allow for F-35+ pilots to take stunning “selfies”, short for self-photographs, of themselves in flight for their Facebook/Twitter/Instagram profile pictures. NSISgSS, the Non-Standard Issue Sunglasses Storage System, will provide pilots with a velvet-lined compartment for the storage and protection of their non-standard issue Ray Ban aviator sunglasses. The CMSCSS and NSISGSS add-ons have been priced at $340,000 USD apiece. It will apparently have no effect on the F-35’s air-to-air or air-to-ground performance.

“The upgrades we’ve included in the + Series will allow us to successfully implement a wider replacement program for all aircraft in NATO inventories,” Gen. Clayton Phelps told our journalists. “We’ll be replacing the Air Force’s F-15 Eagle and Strike Eagle, and the Navy’s Super Hornet with the F-35. Our partners overseas plan on replacing all of their fighters, including the Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen, with the same.” A broader inclusion of the F-35, which was designed to do “everything”, according to Phelps, is also in the works, where the F-35D+ will replace a number of aging cargo aircraft with the United States Air Force and Marine Corps, such as the C-5 Galaxy and C-130 Hercules. He says: “We’re not entirely sure of the specifics, but we’ll replace them all with it. If the Russians can get people thinking that they’ll build a supersonic super cargo freighter, then by Zeus we’re gonna top that. By the way, have any of you seen 2nd Lieutenant Crosby? That son of a ***** better not have gotten lost again, public affairs was due here two hours ago!”

F-35C CF-6 unfolding its wings. Copyright: Lockheed Martin.

F-35C CF-6 unfolding its wings. Copyright: Lockheed Martin.

 

* Editor’s Note: Our reporting team at Lockheed Martin’s Burbank facility originally reported that Aldous Huckstable was an F-35 program engineer. Further research indicates that he was actually a homeless person and has no connection to Lockheed Martin Corporation in any way. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

** Editor’s Note: Happy April Fools!

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About Ian D'Costa (258 Articles)
Ian is the editor-in-chief of the Tactical Air Network. His work has been featured and referenced in a number of publications, including The Toronto Star, Airsoc, Business Insider and The Aviationist. You can reach him at idcosta@tacairnet.com.

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