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What Exactly Is The F-35? Here's How The Air Force Describes It

Ross D. Franklin
AP Images
A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II makes a flyby after an unveiling celebration takes place at Luke Air Force Base for the delivery of the first F-35A fighter jet, Friday, March 14, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz.

The Air Force is throwing its weight behind a new stealth fighter. The military may choose Boise to be one of the bases for the F-35. But what exactly does the F-35 do in battle?

Captain Mark Graff doesn’t mince words when it comes to the F-35.

“The F-35 is an absolute game changer," says the Air Force spokesperson. "It is the most lethal, survivable and adaptive aircraft in the entire world today.”

Graff says one of the things that makes the jet so unique is its diverse applications in battle.

“One of the specific missions with the F-35 is its ability to do air-to-ground attacks in defense of our Marines and soldiers that are on the ground.”

That close air defense is part of reason why Idaho’s Air National Guard is in the running for the aircraft. Right now the unit flies and maintains 18 A-10s, which fly low over ground troops to protect them in battle. The F-35 – which is being developed by Lockheed Martin – can do that, and much more.

The Air Force says it will decide whether to base the jets in Boise by the end of the fall amid mixed local support from nearby residents.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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