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F-35B to head back to sea

written by WOFA | August 7, 2013
The F-35B has completed 500 vertical landings.

The STOVL F-35B variant of the Joint Strike Fighter will head to sea for sea trials off the USS Wasp next week, Lockheed Martin has confirmed.

The DT-2 (Development Test) trials aboard the USS Wasp will be the second of three planned trials aimed to validate the F-35B’s shipboard operating envelope for the US Marine Corps. The first phase of shipboard testing was completed in October 2011.

The shipboard trials follow the F-35B completing its 500th verticial landing on August 3.

F-35B IOC with the USMC is planned for 2015.


  • Raymond


    And so the F-35 continues to kick goals and achieve more milestones… one day its critics will be silenced for good.

  • Darren


    While the F-35 continues to advance along the program line and achieve milestones in flight testing it is right to examine some of the criticism levelled at the aircraft.

    At program inception it was envisaged to cost a similar amount, or slightly more, to purchase and operate compared to a 4th generation fighter. On current information and projections this is not likely to be achieved. Time will tell.

    Recently the original specifications were reduced to meet the performance of the aircraft. Such a move acknowledges that the aircraft will not meet the designed for specifications.

    Program heads have conceded that production in conjunction with flight and system testing has been less than a success. There are many aircraft built or under construction on a production line to a set of plans that may need to change once testing is complete.

    Given the delays and restructuring of this program coupled with the above critics of the program have a legitimate right to voice their concerns. Indeed it should be welcomed when put forward in a constructive way. The issues raised bring about debate and an opportunity to review and revise the status as against our needs.

    This program is compared to the F-111, an aircraft with early difficulties that went on to be highly regarded. To what end did the nagging criticism bring forth resolution of issues to deliver this capable aircraft.

    I’m yet to be convinced the F-35 will be a modern day F-111. I want it to be. But I also want to remove the emotion and coldly analyse the performance and capabilities to ensure it meets Australia’s needs. And if that means critics bring a spotlight to failings and pressure to the manufacture to right these shortfalls then I am all for that. By all means give the program a chance to mature, but don’t miss the opportunity to ensure corrections are made in a timely manner.

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