The Joint Strike Fighter, which is being built by Lockheed Martin as the F35 Lightning II, will be known in UK service as the Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA). Although Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor, the UK is a Level 1 partner with the US and a number of British companies, including BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce, will have extensive involvement in building and developing the aircraft.
The UK version – the F-35C, a developed version of the F-35A seen here – will be a stealthy, multi-role, all-weather, day & night, fighter/attack air system aircraft that can operate from land bases and both current and the next generation of aircraft carriers, two of which (Queen Elizabeth Class) are now under construction for the Royal Navy. When the JCA enters service, it will be able to conduct deep strike missions, against a variety of targets.
JSF will support friendly ground forces with close air support, long-range interdiction, anti-surface warfare and tactical reconnaissance.