Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR DEC JAN 2015 Contents NEWS
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 05 | DEC/JAN 2015
The carrier variant of the F-35 Light-
ning II Joint Strike Fighter made its first
arrested landing aboard an aircraft carri-
er on 3 November.
The US Navy (USN) F-35C made the
landing on USS Nimitz during two weeks
of initial at-sea Developmental Testing
(DT-I) for the type.
The first of three at-sea test phases
planned for the F-35C, DT-I saw two
F-35C test aircraft from Naval Air Station
Patuxent River, Maryland, perform a vari-
ety of operational manoeuvres, including
various catapult take-offs and arrested
landings. Integrated Test Force (ITF)
flight test operations also encompass
general maintenance and fit tests for the
aircraft and support equipment, as well
as simulated maintenance operations.
By mid-November, the two F-35Cs
had performed more than 100 catapult
launches and 100 arrested landings. The
two aircraft successfully landed at every
attempt, with zero bolters (failures to catch
an arresting cable on the flight deck).
Data from the tests will be collected
through added instrumentation to meas-
ure the F-35C’s integration with flight
deck operations and to further define the
F-35C’s operating parameters aboard
the aircraft carrier.
The ITF test team will analyse data ob-
tained during flight test operations, con-
duct assessments of how well the F-35C
operated in the shipboard environment
and advise the USN of any adjustments
necessary to ensure the type achieves
initial operational capability in 2018.
– Matthew Mendenhall
US AIR POWER AT SEA
The F-35C combines advanced
stealth with fighter speed and agility,
fused targeting, cutting-edge avionics,
advanced jamming, network-enabled
operations and advanced sustainment.
With a broad wingspan, reinforced landing
gear, ruggedised structures and durable
coatings, the F-35C is designed to stand
up to harsh shipboard conditions while
delivering a lethal combination of multi-role
fighter capabilities to the fleet.
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 USN’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, MH-60R/S helicopters
and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics
aircraft. – US Navy
First arrested carrier
landing for F-35C
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ABOVE LEFT:One of two F-35C aircraft
during initial at-sea testing landing on
board the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz on 3
November. Image: US Navy
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