The F-35 programme has been around for 16 years. There are now 220 F-35s in operation. In five years, Lockheed Martin expects there to be 1,000 F-35s flying.
A flying computer
Mike Rein, F-35 Programme Manager, told us how the fighter will be developed from here: “It’s a flying computer. It has 9 million lines of code, compared to the F-22 which has 2 million lines of code, and a fourth generation fighter with only 1 million. Just like your iPhone or computer, about every two years we’re going to refresh the technology. Whether it’s a weapons advance or capability advance, it can be incorporated into the F-35.”
He added: “We don’t know what the world is going to look like 40 years from now, but the F35 is going to be able to keep up with it.”