May 19, 2015

Six F-35B jets land on USS Wasp for Marine Corps testing

Six U.S. F-35B on the USS Wasp amphibious warship on Monday for two weeks of operational testing required before the Marine Corps can declare a first squadron of 10 F-35s ready for combat use in July.
The testing, taking place off the coast of Virginia, will involve the six F-35 B-model jets, the highest number of F-35s ever used on a Navy warship to date, as well as Marine Corps pilots, maintenance personnel, and logistics experts, said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly.
The tests will check the ability of the stealthy jets to integrate into flight and deck operations on board the ship. They will include operations and weapons loading at day and night, the jets' ability to coordinate digitally with an on-board logistics system, and how well the crew can deal with scheduled and unexpected repairs at sea.
The Marine Corps must also complete certain modifications of the 10 jets that will make up the initial squadron.
The Pentagon's F-35 office said work on one of the jets had been completed, and two more would be finished this week. The seven remaining jets would be modified by the end of June.

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