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F-35C makes first arrested landing onboard aircraft carrier

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The F-35C Lightening II Joint Strike Fighter conducts its first arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). A US Navy photo

WASHINGTON (BNS): An F-35C Lightening II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) successfully made its first arrested landing on board a US Navy aircraft carrier on Monday, marking a new milestone in the development of the multi-million dollar stealth jet.

The test aircraft CF-03, a carrier variant of the JSF, landed aboard USS Nimitz's (CVN 68) flight deck at 12:18 pm local time off the coast of San Diego in Southern California on Monday, the US Navy announced.

The arrested landing was part of initial at-sea developmental test phase I for the F-35C, which commenced on Nov. 3 and is expected to last two weeks, it said.

The sea-based trial will provide key data about the F-35C's integration to flight deck operations and to further define the jet's operating parameters aboard the aircraft carrier.

The jet along with one more will perform a variety of operational manoeuvres, including various catapult takeoffs and arrested landings, during further tests in the coming days.

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 US Navy's premier strike fighter.

The Navy is scheduled to deploy the new-generation stealth fighter to its fleet in 2018.

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, MH-60R/S helicopters and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft, the Navy statement said.


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