Air Platforms

US Navy receives its first F-35C Lightning II aircraft

23 June 2013

The first of 369 F-35C aircraft for the USN arrives at Eglin AFB in Florida, where it will be used to train pilots and maintainers. (US Air Force)The first of 369 F-35C aircraft for the USN arrives at Eglin AFB in Florida, where it will be used to train pilots and maintainers. (US Air Force)

The US Navy (USN) has officially received the first of its planned 369 carrier variant (CV) Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft, the service announced on 22 June.

The aircraft, assigned to the USN's strike fighter squadron VFA-101 Grim Reapers arrived at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) in Florida, where it will join the United States and international training fleet.

VFA-101 was recently reactivated as the USN's Fleet Replacement Squadron, training aircrew and maintenance personnel to fly and repair the F-35C.

The USN currently plans to declare initial operating capability for its F-35C fleet in 2019, after which it will join the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet combat aircraft, EA-18G Growler electronic warfare platform, Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) asset, Grumman C-2 Greyhound carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft, and the Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin MH-60R and Sikorsky MH-60S Seahawk helicopters in making up the navy's carrier-based air wings.

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