The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is displaying the F-35A Lightning II for the first time at the Paris Air Show as well as flying demonstrations for the first time at an international air show. According to Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane article Airpower on display at Paris Air Show, accompanying the F-35 are two F-16 Fighting Falcons, a V-22 Osprey, a C-130J Hercules, a P-8 Poseidon, a CH-47 Chinook, and an AH-64 Apache. During the public days the U.S. Air Force (USAF) will exhibit the KC-135 Stratotanker as well.
These aircraft represent the attack, strike, mobility, refueling and reconnaissance capabilities of the U.S. military.
However, while the U.S. brought some of their most popular aircraft, as you can see in the following video brought to my attention by Melanie Belz, a reader of The Aviation Geek Club, the F-35 stole the show as the only 5th generation fighter in attendance among the 130 aircraft exhibited.
During its eight minute flight demonstration, the hustle and bustle of the air show stopped and crowds turn their undivided attention to the booming maneuvers being performed by the advanced fighter.
These demonstrations are crowd pleasers, but the F-35s real place is on the battlefield according to commanders.
“The impact of air superiority provided by our F-35s is integral to supporting our warfighter and NATO Allies,” said Gen. Tod D. Wolters, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander. “Showcasing our cutting-edge aircraft technology is one of many ways we ensure ready forces while deterring threats from the outset.”
The strong U.S. presence at the Paris Air Show demonstrates that the U.S. industry is producing the type of equipment that is critical to the success of current and future military operations.
Photo credit: Senior Airman Devante Williams / U.S. Air Force
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