F-35 Lightning II News

Navy Receives First F-35C Lightning II

June 22, 2013 (by Commander, NAFPA) - The U.S. Navy's Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101 received the Navy's first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant aircraft from Lockheed Martin today at the squadron's home at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Tabert, F-35C Lightning II USN instructor pilot from VFA-101 lands this afternoon at Eglin AFB after a two hour flight from Fort Worth. VFA-101 received the Navy's first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant aircraft from Lockheed Martin. [USAF photo by Maj. Karen Roganov]

The Lightning II is a fifth generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.

The F-35C will enhance the flexibility, power projection, and strike capabilities of carrier air wings and joint task forces and will complement the capabilities of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, which currently serves as the Navy's premier strike fighter.

By 2025, the Navy's aircraft carrier-based air wings will consist of a mix of F-35C, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers electronic attack aircraft, E-2D Hawkeye battle management and control aircraft, Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) air vehicles, MH-60R/S helicopters and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft.

VFA 101, based at Eglin Air Force Base, will serve as the F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron, training both aircrew and maintenance personnel to fly and repair the F-35C.


Courtesy of Commander, Naval Air Forces Public Affairs

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Additional images:

Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Tabert, F-35C instructor pilot, taxis the F-35C Lightning II in after landing at Eglin AFB. The USN's VFA-101 received the Navy's first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant aircraft from Lockheed Martin on June 22nd, 2013. [USAF photo by Maj. Karen Roganov]