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Friday, April 10, 2015

U.S. Marines Prep for F-35B Ops Trials on USS Wasp

F-35B Lightning II & USS WaspThe U.S. Marine Corps is preparing for its first and only operational testing (OT) period for the F-35B in advance of declaring initial operational capability for the stealthy, single-engine fighter as early as July.

The trials – set for May 18-25 – are the first shipboard operational testing trials for any of the F-35 variants. Six F-35Bs from VMFA-121 and VMFAT-501 are slated to participate on the trials off the Atlantic coast on the USS Wasp, according to Maj. Paul Greenberg, a Marine Corps spokesman.

This will be the first time six of the aircraft have been deployed to sea on the same ship at once. Operators will assess the ability of the fighter to function not only on takeoff and landing, but also in navigating around the deck and in the belly of the ship, where maintenance operations take place.

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