The US Navy has performed the first arrested landings of two F-35C Lightning II carrier variants aboard USS Dwight D Eisenhower (CVN 69).
Conducted off the coast of eastern US, the arrested landing of F-35C test aircraft, CF-03 and CF-05, was part of the two week at-sea developmental testing (DT-II) phase.
F-35 Program executive officer lieutenant general Chris Bogdan said: "These sea trials will further expand the F-35C’s flight envelope.
"The testing we’re doing today will prepare us for next year’s final at-sea developmental test and keep us on track to support the Navy’s 2018 initial operational capability date."
During DT-II, the F-35C will carry out a number of operational manoeuvres, including catapult takeoffs and arrested landings.
The aircraft also simulate maintenance operations and perform general maintenance and fit tests for the aircraft and support equipment.
The test data compiled during this sea trial will support the navy to take measures necessary to ensure that the fifth-generation fighter is ready to meet its scheduled IOC in 2018.
The planned three developmental testing phases are aimed to ensure the development of aircraft that meet the desired specifications.
In addition, it intends to identify mission critical issues sufficiently early in the test phase in order to provide fully capable aircraft in time for their scheduled initial operating capability (IOC).
The F-35 Lightning II completed DT-I in 2014, conducting its inaugural arrested landings and catapult launches aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) aircraft carrier.
By 2025, the US Navy is expected to have 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.
Image: The US Navy’s F-35C’s arrested landing aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower was part of the two week at-sea developmental testing (DT-II) phase. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation.