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26 juin 2013 3 26 /06 /juin /2013 10:20
F-35 CF-6 (Photo Lockheed Martin)

F-35 CF-6 (Photo Lockheed Martin)

June 26; 2013 by Dave Majumdar – FG


Washington DC - The US Navy received its first Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter training aircraft at Eglin AFB, Florida, on 22 June.


The stealth carrier-based aircraft will be assigned to the service's Strike Fighter Squadron 101 (VFA-101) "Grim Reapers", and will fly alongside US Air Force and US Marine Corps F-35 training units assigned to the air force's 33rd Fighter Wing. VFA-101 will serve as a fleet replacement squadron which will train aircrew and maintenance personnel from both the USN and USMC to fly and repair the F-35C.


The navy is the last of the US military services to receive the F-35, and many observers say its commitment to the tri-service jet is lukewarm at best. However, the USN publicly insists that it is behind the programme.


"For me, the F-35C is really a key part of our future," chief of naval operation Adm Jonathan Greenert told the Senate appropriations subcommittee on defense earlier in the month. "It provides a unique and essential set of capabilities for our air wing and for our carrier strike group, effectively for the fleet."


The F-35C is expected to be operational with the USN in late 2018 or early 2019.

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