US Navy’s CVN 72 completes FRS carrier qualifications for F-35C

19 December 2017 (Last Updated December 19th, 2017 11:35)

The US Navy's Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) has successfully completed the first Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) carrier qualifications for the F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter.

US Navy’s CVN 72 completes FRS carrier qualifications for F-35C
An F-35C Lightning II prior to flight operations aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. Credit: US Navy by mass communication specialist 3rd class Juan Cubano / Released.

The US Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) has successfully completed the first Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) carrier qualifications for the F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter.

The carrier qualifications have been carried out by CVN 72 in association with the Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125, the VFA-101 and the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 9.

"This detachment was able to successfully complete numerous milestones that will set the foundation for the future fifth-generation employment of the F-35C into the Carrier Air Wing."

USS Abraham Lincoln’s qualification tests marked the first use of an autonomic logistic information system (ALIS) on-board an aircraft carrier, as well as the inaugural use of the joint precision approach and landing system (JPALS) in an operational setting.

The ALIS information infrastructure enables operators to plan, maintain and sustain system across the F-35C fighter jets, which were developed by Lockheed Martin.

The system also enables the secure transmission of up-to-date operations, maintenance, prognostic, support, training and technical data to users and technicians worldwide.

VFA-125 executive officer commander Scott Hulett said: “Thanks to the tireless work from the VFA-125, VFA-101, VX-9, CVN72 and the Lockheed team this detachment was able to successfully complete numerous milestones that will set the foundation for the future fifth-generation employment of the F-35C into the Carrier Air Wing.”

The squadrons tested the new JPALS in rough weather conditions on-board the USS Abraham Lincoln during the qualification process.

The solution is designed to work in line with the vessel’s navigation system to ensure the precise and reliable guidance of the aircraft.

US Navy aircraft carrier air wings are now expected to comprise F-35C aircraft, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers electronic attach aircraft, E-2D Hawkeye battle management and control aircraft, MH-60R/S helicopters and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft by 2025.