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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

F-35 Update: A Milestone at Sea...

An F-35C Lightning II is about to touch down on the USS Nimitz on November 3, 2014...marking the first time a Joint Strike Fighter jet made an arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier.
Lockheed Martin / U.S. Navy

Almost two months after its older sibling, the F-22 Raptor, finally saw combat by going on bombing runs against the Islamic State in Syria, Lockheed Martin's Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) achieved another milestone in its development program when the U.S. Navy's variant—the F-35C Lightning II—made a carrier landing aboard the USS Nimitz. The arrested landing took place yesterday, with America's newest jet fighter symbolically touching down aboard our nation's oldest active aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego, California. The F-35C is scheduled to become operational in 2018, while the F-35A (the U.S. Air Force's variant) will achieve operational status in December of 2016. The U.S. Marine Corps' version, the F-35B, will enter service in December of next year—becoming the first JSF version to be ready for battle. Hopefully, it won't have to wait 9 years to unleash its first smart bomb or air-to-air missile against a would-be foe...unlike the Raptor (which has yet to fire an AMRAAM or Sidewinder missile in real combat). We'll see.

The F-35C Lightning II approaches the USS Nimitz...prior to becoming the first Joint Strike Fighter jet to make an arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier, on November 3, 2014.
Lockheed Martin / U.S. Navy

The F-35C Lightning II touches down on the USS Nimitz on November 3, 2014...marking the first time a Joint Strike Fighter jet made an arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier.
Lockheed Martin / U.S. Navy

The F-35C Lightning II touches down on the USS Nimitz on November 3, 2014...marking the first time a Joint Strike Fighter jet made an arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier.
Lockheed Martin / U.S. Navy



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