Boeing X-32

The Boeing X-32 was a concept demonstrator aircraft in the Joint Strike Fighter contest. It lost to the Lockheed Martin X-35 demonstrator which was further developed into the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

Boeing X-32
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Boeing
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 2000
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Boeing 2 View

In 1993, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched the Common Affordable Lightweight Fighter project (CALF). The project's purpose was to develop a stealth-enabled design to replace all of United States Department of Defense lighter weight fighter and attack aircraft, including the F-16 Fighting Falcon, McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, and vertical/short takeoff / vertical landing (V/STOL) AV-8B Harrier II. Around the same time the Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) project was started. In 1994, the U.S. Congress ordered the two to be merged into the Joint Strike Fighter Program.

Many companies took part in the first phase of this project, which involved drafting concept aircraft designs for submission to the Department of Defense. On 16 November 1996, Boeing and Lockheed Martin were awarded contracts for them to produce two of their concept demonstrator aircraft (CDA) each. Under the contract, these fighters were required to demonstrate conventional take-off and landing (CTOL), carrier take-off and landing (CV version), and short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL). They were also expected to include ground demonstrations of a production representative aircraft's systems, such as the Preferred Weapon System Concept (PWSC).

One major departure from previous projects was the prohibition of the companies from using their own money to finance development. Each was awarded $750 million to produce their two aircraft – including avionics, software and hardware. This limitation promoted the adoption of low cost manufacturing and assembly techniques, and also prevented either Boeing or Lockheed Martin from bankrupting themselves in an effort to win such an important contest.

Role Experimental fighter
Manufacturer Boeing
First flight 18 September 2000
Primary user Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 45.01 ft (13.72 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft (10.97 m)
  • Height: (5.28 m)
  • Wing area: 590 ft² (54.8 m²)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 38,000 lb (17,200 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney F119 derivative afterburning turbofan
  • Dry thrust: 28,000 lbf (125 kN)
  • Thrust with afterburner: 43,000 lbf[11] (191 kN)


  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.6 (1,200 mph, 1,931 km/h) at altitude
  • Range on USAF mission profile: 850 nmi (1,574 km)
  • Range on USN mission profile: 750 nmi (1,389 km)
  • Range on USMC/RN mission profile: 600 nmi (1,112 km)


  • 20 mm M61A2 cannon, or 27 mm Mauser BK-27 cannon
  • Internal: 6 AMRAAM air-air missiles or 2 AMRAAM air-air missiles and 2 x 2,000 lb (900 kg) class guided bombs
  • External: Approx. 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) of full range of external stores including guided weapons, anti-radiation missile, air-to-surface weapons, auxiliary fuel tanks

End notes