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U.S. Marine Corps Received Its First F-35C Lightning II Carrier Variant
 
The first F-35C Lightning II, carrier variant, for the U.S. Marine Corps touched-down on the flight line here, Jan. 13, from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin training in support of carrier-based operations.
The first F-35C Lightning II, carrier variant, for the U.S. Marine Corps touched-down on the flight line here, Jan. 13, from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin training in support of carrier-based operations.
 
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Naval Forces News - USA
 
 
 
U.S. Marine Corps Received Its First F-35C Lightning II Carrier Variant
 
The first F-35C Lightning II, carrier variant, for the U.S. Marine Corps touched-down on the flight line here, Jan. 13, from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin training in support of carrier-based operations.
     
The first F-35C Lightning II, carrier variant, for the U.S. Marine Corps touched-down on the flight line here, Jan. 13, from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin training in support of carrier-based operations.
Lt. Col. J.T. 'Tank' Ryan, Marine VMFAT-501 detachment commander and F-35 pilot, delivers the first Marine Corps F-35C Lightning II #169031 a carrier variant to VFA-101 at Eglin AFB on January 13, 2015. Ryan flew the aircraft from the Lockheed Martin plant, Fort Worth, Texas, as the first of five Marine Corps F-35C model aircraft to be delivered to the VFA-101. [USAF photo by SSgt. Marleah Robertson]
     
U.S. Marine Lt. Col. J.T. Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander and F-35 pilot, delivered the new F-35C to Strike Fighter Squadron 101, the Navy's only F-35 fleet replacement squadron. This aircraft is the first of five Marine Corps F-35Cs that will be delivered to VFA-101 on Eglin.

Marine F-35 pilots primarily fly F-35Bs - a short take-off vertical landing variant designed to deploy to austere locations and operate aboard amphibious ships

"This is a big day for the Marine Corps tactical air community and a huge honor to be able to deliver our first F-35C," said Ryan. "It marks the beginning of our training in the carrier variant and puts us that much closer to standing up our first F-35C operational fleet squadron."
     
The F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter completed its first phase of developmental test (DT) aboard an aircraft carrier Nov. 14, three days ahead of schedule aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68). During the DT-I event, F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) the F-35 Lightning II Integrated Test Force (ITF) from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) located at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River in Patuxent River, Maryland, tested the carrier suitability of the aircraft... PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 4, 2014) An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant joint strike fighters conducts the first catapult launches aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). The F-35 Lightning II Pax River Integrated Test Force from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 is conducting initial at-sea trials aboard Nimitz. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin/Released)
     
The F-35C model brings 25 percent more range and a bigger weapons bay. It also allows the Marine Corps to fly aboard Navy aircraft carriers, which continues an effective and long-standing tactical air integration program between the Navy and Marine Corps.

"In the past, Marines have been trained to fly the Navy's F-18 Hornet to share the load of deployment cycles," said Ryan. "Now, Marine pilots will be flying the F-35C with the Navy's Carrier Air Wings while deployed aboard aircraft carriers."

The first operational Marine Corps F-35C fleet squadron, VMFA-115, is scheduled to stand up at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, in 2019.

"It's exciting to be on the ground floor of the F-35C and an enormous honor to be the first F-35C Marine pilot," said Ryan. "I look forward to being a part of VFA-101 and the future of what this aircraft will bring to the fight for our Marines."

The F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter completed its first phase of developmental test (DT) aboard an aircraft carrier Nov. 14, three days ahead of schedule aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68). During the DT-I event, F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) the F-35 Lightning II Integrated Test Force (ITF) from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) located at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River in Patuxent River, Maryland, tested the carrier suitability of the aircraft and its integration with carrier air and deck operations in the at-sea environment, achieving 100 percent of the threshold test points.