The US Marine Corps' (USMC) two F-35B Lightning II aircraft have conducted an aerial refuelling mission with a KC-130J Super Hercules, during a training flight over Southern California.
Supported by marines from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352, the two F-35Bs from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 successfully completed the routine multiple times during the flight.
According to Sergeant Christopher Coxe, a crew master of Squadron 352 (VMGR-352), a KC-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft extended its hose to transfer fuel to the aircraft at the receiving end.
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 pilot and a Dallas native captain Jimmy Braudt said: "The ability to refuel in flight is critical for the supportability and the sustainability of the F-35B during real-world operations.
"It is a force multiplier that allows us to project the fight to the enemy."
Coxe added: "Aerial refuelling extends the range of the receiver aircraft, thus allowing longer on-station time for such missions as close air support and combat air patrol."
After the conclusion of an aerial refuelling, the aircraft completed the tactical intercept training.
The F-35 Lightning II is a fifth generation aircraft fighter equipped with stealth capacity along with fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.
The single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft can be deployed for multiple missions armed with integrated sensors in-built in every aircraft.
Image: A F-35B Lightning II during the exercise. Photo: courtesy of Sgt. Lillian Stephens.