The F-35A for the U.S. Air Force matches or exceeds F-16 performance levels and goes several steps beyond with stealth, increased range on internal fuel, and advanced avionics. Operational effectiveness, supportability, and survivability are greatly enhanced as a result.
- Like the F-16, the F-35A has an internal gun and a refueling receptacle on top of the fuselage behind the canopy.
- Unlike the U.S. Air Force F-16, the aircraft is stealthy, enabling first-look, first-shot capability. It also has an internal laser designator and infrared sensors.
- Maneuverability characteristics are similar to those of the F-16, with comparable instantaneous and sustained 'High-G" performance.
- The F-35A's range and payload are greatly improved as well.
- The aircraft meets or exceeds all of the known service guidelines for flight performance.