The US Navy has received the second F-35B Lightning II short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) stealth fighter from Lockheed Martin at the Navy’s test site in Patuxent River, Maryland.
Lockheed Martin F-35 programme general manager Dan Crowley said the test site is ready to begin the extensive four-year flight test campaign to help field the future of Marine Corps and Navy Aviation.
“Over the next year, an integrated government/industry test team will ramp up the flight test at Pax River for the F-35B STOVL variant and F-35C carrier variant, and at Edwards Air Force Base, California, for the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant,” Crowley said.
The F-35 Autonomic Logistics Information System will support the aircraft while the F-35 Autonomics Logistics Global Sustainment Operations Centre in Fort Worth will monitor the flights.
The F-35 team has developed an advanced sustainment system capability with built-in sustainability which will reduce overall maintenance costs while ensuring operational readiness.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th-generation fighter aircraft that combines advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, advanced sustainment, and lower operational and support costs.
Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 in collaboration with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.