Sea Platforms

Analysis: Wings over the ocean – US Navy charts future course for carrier aviation

05 December 2017

Key Points

  • Having been the sole preserve of the F/A-18 Hornet-series combat aircraft for more than a decade, the tactical air support element of the USN's CAWsis set to be joined in the coming years by the F-35C Lightning II at what is to be a pivotal point in the service's aviation history.

When the Grumman F-14D Tomcat was retired from US Navy (USN) service in 2006, the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet’s stint as the USN's sole fleet defence and carrier strike platform was only meant to be a short one before it was due to be joined by the Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) in 2010.

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