F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter
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The designation of fighter aircraft by "generations" began with the first subsonic jets toward the end of World War II. While never an official definition, such designations have been widely accepted for more than six decades, with each new generation typically reflecting a major advance in technology or capability. The first generation (mid-1940s through the mid-1950s) included the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star (U.S.), de Havilland Vampire (U.K.), Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-9/-15/-17 (USSR), Shenyang J-2/J-5 (PRC), and Dassault Ouragan (France). Aside from speed, they were not significantly different from the last generation of advanced piston-driven fighters from World War II.