ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2016) An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, assigned to the Grim Reapers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, the Navy’s F-35C Fleet replacement squadron, prepares to land on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). VFA-101 aircraft and pilots are conducting initial qualifications aboard George Washington in the Atlantic Ocean. The F-35C is expected to be Fleet operational in 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comunication Specialist 3rd Class Kashif Basharat)
“The supersonic, multi-role, multi-service F-35C Lightning II represents a quantum leap in air superiority capability. Combining the next-generation fighter characteristics of radar-evading stealth, supersonic speed and fighter agility with the most powerful and comprehensive integrated sensor package of any fighter aircraft in history, the F-35C delivers unprecedented lethality and survivability to Naval Aviation.”
The F-35C Lightning II and other variants increase operational flexibility and interoperability across services and with international partners, while bringing unique and advanced capabilities to the continually evolving carrier air wings (CVWs) embarked on our aircraft carriers. The F-35C will replace legacy F/A-18C/D Hornets and serve the U.S. Navy as a first-day-of-war, survivable strike fighter complementing the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
The F-35C is expected to be fleet operational in 2018.
The F-35C will deliver the stealth, sensing and command and control capabilities for our future carrier air wings to do two important missions: assure access and project power.