View Full Version : STOVL JSF: It's the next generation of Marine aviation

10-29-03, 06:38 AM
STOVL JSF: It's the next generation of Marine aviation
Submitted by: HQBn Henderson Hall
Story Identification Number: 2003102783325
Story by Cpl. Brian Buckwalter

PENTAGON, Va.(Oct. 27, 2003) -- As Marine AV-8B Harriers and FA-18 Hornets near the end of their service life, a new aircraft is getting ready to debut in Marine Corps aviation in 2010.

The new aircraft is the Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing Joint Strike Fighter, or STOVL JSF. It will replace the Harrier and the Hornet and is the future of expeditionary air power for the Marine Corps.

Lockheed Martin will produce two other variations of the JSF. The Carrier Variant or CV JSF is for the Navy and the Air Force will purchase the Conventional Takeoff/Landing, or CTOL JSF.

There are four pillars to the JSF program - affordability, survivability, lethality, and supportability, said Marine Corps Joint Strike Fighter requirements officer, Maj. Lex Brown.

Because the JSF uses a common airframe for all three variations, it's cheaper to build and maintain than previous military jets. For the Marine Corps, phasing out the Harrier and the Hornet from its aviation program will also help reduce costs.

"As the Harrier and the F-18 start to age, it's very costly to maintain them, get parts for them, and the operational flight hour money required for them is very expensive? What they're going to do is consolidate the two different strike aircraft down to one?. That makes the maintenance and logistical tail a lot shorter," said Brown.

The JSF will also be able to survive out in combat situations better than any previous fighter jet because of its speed and stealthy airframe.

"This is the first supersonic strike fighter that has stealth. Bringing stealth to the fight is probably the number one operational advantage that we're going to have," said Brown.

Also, the JSF is very lethal and one of the most advanced aircraft due to its next generation radar, avionics, and targeting and weapons systems, said Brown.

Finally, because the aircraft is more reliable, and less maintenance is required, it will be easier to support the JSF than previous military aircraft.

Because of the Marine Corps expeditionary mission, the STOVL version of the aircraft is necessary.

STOVL offers basing flexibility, meaning it can land on a short strip of highway, an expeditionary airfield, or nearly anywhere it needs to, said Brown. This speeds up the turn-around time for the aircraft. The pilot can fly in, provide ground troop support, go back, re-fuel and re-load, and get back to supporting troops without having to worry about covering the distance it would take to fly to a base in the rear.

The Marine Corps is currently scheduled to receive 420 STOVL JSF over the course of 10 years, beginning in 2010, said Brown. The Marine Corps will completely phase out the Harrier by 2015 and the Hornet by 2020. The STOVL JSF will a part of Marine Corps aviation until 2050.


Joint Strike Fighter requirements officers Maj. Lex Brown and Richard Colvard show off a model of the next generation of military aircraft. The JSF is scheduled to be delivered to the Marine Corps by 2010.
Photo by: Cpl. Brian Buckwalter