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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)
160814-N-SX673-028 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)

F-35C Lightning II: Bringing the Thunder

“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.”

– Naval Aviation Vision 2016-2025

The Grim Reapers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, the Navy’s F-35C Fleet replacement squadron, are conducting initial qualifications aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) in the Atlantic Ocean.

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.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2016) An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, taxis on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kris R. Lindstrom)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2016) An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, taxis on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kris R. Lindstrom/Released)
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, lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kris R. Lindstrom)
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, lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kris R. Lindstrom/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2016) Sailors prepare to launch 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, off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kris R. Lindstrom)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2016) Sailors prepare to launch 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, off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kris R. Lindstrom/Released)
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, launches off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kris R. Lindstrom/Released)
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, launches off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kris R. Lindstrom/Released)
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, launches off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kris R. Lindstrom/Released)
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, launches off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kris R. Lindstrom/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2016) F-35C Lightning II carrier variants, assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, prepare to take off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alora R. Blosch)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2016) F-35C Lightning II carrier variants, assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, prepare to take off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alora R. Blosch)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2016) An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, taxis on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alora R. Blosch/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2016) An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, taxis on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alora R. Blosch/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2016) An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, taxis on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alora R. Blosch)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2016) An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, taxis on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alora R. Blosch/Released)
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, lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Krystofer Belknap/Released)
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, lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Krystofer Belknap/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2016) A Sailor communicates with the pilot of 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, on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comunication Specialist 3rd Class Kashif Basharat/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2016) A Sailor communicates with the pilot of 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, on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kashif Basharat/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2016) Lt. William Bowen taxis in an F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alex L. Smedegard/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2016) Lt. William Bowen taxis in an F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alex L. Smedegard/Released)

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.

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