F-35 makes roaring debut at Aero India 2023 

This is the first time that an F-35, developed by US defence company Lockheed Martin, is in India

Updated - February 14, 2023 09:38 am IST

Published - February 13, 2023 03:53 pm IST - Bengaluru

Two US Air Force F-35 jets at Aero India.

Two US Air Force F-35 jets at Aero India. | Photo Credit: Dinakar Peri

Around 12 noon on the inaugural day of Aero India 2023, two F-35s of the United States Air Force (USAF) roared into the India Air Force station at Yelahanka in Bengaluru.  

The F-35A Lightning II is the newest fifth-generation fighter of the USAF with stealth, supersonic, and multi-role capabilities.

This is the first time that an F-35, developed by US defence company Lockheed Martin, is in India.

In the run-up to the airshow, there was speculation about the fifth-generation jets participation in Aero India 2023. On the eve of the airshow, the US delegation announced that there would be a surprise in store for the visitors.

Watch | Suryakiran at Aero India 2023
| Video Credit: K. Murali Kumar

Soon after their arrival in Yelahanka, the two F-35s were the focus of everyone’s attention. Officers from the Indian armed forces and visitors clicked photographs and selfies with the fifth-generation fighter on the tarmac.

On February 13, the aircraft did not take part in any demonstration, but are expected to do so from Day 2 of the airshow.

According to the US consulate general, the F-35A Lightning II demonstration team will demonstrate its unique aerial capabilities during the airshow, and the F-35A Lightning will be on static display.

The F-35s engine consists of a 3-stage fan, a 6-stage compressor, an annular combustor, a single stage high-pressure turbine, and a 2-stage low-pressure turbine. The engine produces 43,000 pounds of thrust. 

“The F-35 represents the leading-edge of U.S. fighter technology. Aero India is an ideal forum to showcase the most advanced, capable, lethal, and interoperable weapons systems the U.S. has to offer. This system and others are designed to penetrate and defeat advanced adversary air defences,” said Major General Julian C. Cheater, Assistant Deputy Undersecretary of the air force, International Affairs.

Replying to query on February 12, the U.S. delegation told mediapersons that it would be too premature for the U.S. to offer the F-35 to India.

In addition to the F-35, an F-16 Fighting Falcon duo will perform daily aerial demonstrations from February 13-17, showcasing the capability of one of the USAF’s leading fighter jets. The static display will include the F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet multi-role fighters.

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