Overall some poor analysis from this article. The ranges listed for the jets is wrong, they have likely just taken it off a the LM instead of looking at any of the last three SARs which shows the F-35A radius is 670nm, so 1340nm, 12% longer than suggested and is a profile calculated with significant fuel burn limitation to simulate an old less efficient engine flying an A2G mission (heavier configuration). The F-35B is at 1010nm off an LHD while the F-35C is at 1280nm.
I also found it ironic that the article criticizes the range given it is longer now than all current USAF fighter strike aircraft anyway (bombers of course excepted). Saying that, the new engine does promise some great fuel savings, as well as likely a sustained supercruise capability, so is a win win all round. ANALYSIS: F-35's next engine to reach for more range
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ge-459856/
One criticism – among many – of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is that the fighter lacks the range needed to conduct long-range stealth strike missions. While Lockheed Martin has studied adding external fuel tanks to extend the aircraft's range, slinging the bulky hardware under the F-35 would ruin its minimal radar cross section, giving away the stealth fighter's chief advantage.
In place of extra onboard fuel, the US Navy (USN) has boosted the flight endurance of its F-35C variant by using its Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet as a substitute in-flight refuelling tanker. The service is also funding the development of four Boeing MQ-25A Stingray unmanned in-flight refuelling tankers for $805 million.
Still, the F-35's range handicap remains particularly dangerous for hypothetical combat operations against mainland China – shorter endurance might mean that air bases, in-flight refuelling tankers and aircraft carriers have to be deployed within the threat envelope of Chinese defences. In addition, it reduces the number of potential bases from which the F-35 can operate effectively.
The F-35A used by the US Air Force (USAF) has an internal fuel tank capacity of 8,280kg (18,300lb) and a range of 1,200nm (2,200km). The USN’s F-35C has an internal fuel tank capacity of 9,000kg and a range of 1,200nm. The US Marine Corps' short take-off and vertical-landing F-35B has a fuel capacity of 6,130kg and the shortest range of the three types, at only 900nm.
The USAF is looking at how the F-35 can do more with its fuel capacity. One important effort is the service's Adaptive Engine Transition Program, which aims to create a novel engine that has not only more power, but also more fuel economy.