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And the reasons are simple.
Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter—which is built in three versions—recently completed its developmental test phase and is operational with the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps. Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy will soon join the ranks of JSF operators with the F-35C carrier variant, which is scheduled to become operational later this year or early 2019.
The Navy—which refused to accept anything other than the final Block 3F configuration—is the last of the three services to adopt the aircraft, which the Marines adopted first in 2015 with the F-35B jump-jet variant. Meanwhile, for the Air Force, the F-35A conventional takeoff version is rapidly becoming its mainstay fighter. Indeed, with the production of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor having been terminated at 187 aircraft and the Air Force seriously considering the retiring its Boeing F-15C Eagle fleet, the JSF might be pressed into the air superiority role. But how does the F-35 stack up against the F-22 as a fighter?
Recommended: The Fatal Flaw That Could Take Down an F-22 or F-35.