The Lockheed F-35 is an advanced stealth fifth generation fighter combining speed and superb agility. There are three variants; F-35A, B and C. The F-35A CTOL (Conventional Take Off and Landing) and has four internal weapons stations in two weapons bays plus three optional external weapons stations. The F-35B STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant while the F-35C is a CV (Carrier Variant). The F-35 will replace the USAF A-10 and F-16, the F/A-18 for the USN and the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the USMC.
The F-35 has become a political football in Canada. In 2010 the Conservative Prime Minister announced the government would purchase 65 F-35s by 2020 to replace the CF-18. To sell this decision a wooden mock-up of the F-35 was made and displayed at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa. In 2012 an Auditor General’s report stated the costs were very understated and the purchase was halted. In the 2015 election the Liberals promised to cancel the order and ever since the F-35 has been in limbo even in 2022.