Dec 29, 2014
US Marine Corps receives first carrier variant F-35C
The USMC is acquiring a mixed fleet of short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B and CV F-35C aircraft. The current plan is for the Corps' current AV-8B Harrier IIs to be replaced by 353 F-35Bs, and its Boeing F/A-18 Hornets to be replaced by 67 F-35Cs. Initial operating capability for the F-35B is slated to be achieving in the coming months, while that for the F-35C is expected in 2018.
CF-19 was the 36th and final F-35 to be delivered this year. Aircraft delivered in 2014 comprised 23 conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35As to the US Air Force (USAF), two F-35As to the Royal Australian Air Force, four F-35Bs to the USMC, six F-35Cs to the USN, and one F-35C to the USMC.
With the programme still in low-rate initial production (LRIP), the final two lots (LRIP 10 and LRIP 11) are due to be contracted in the next couple of years. After 2016, Lockheed Martin intends to ramp-up to full-rate production of about one aircraft per day.