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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Embattled F-35 fighter jet could soon be ready for combat

It has wound a tortured path to get here. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been derided as a trillion-dollar boondoggle, the "plane that ate the Pentagon," a failed project billions over budget and years behind schedule that should be killed.

And yet here it was Tuesday, the sun glinting off its wings on a beautiful day as it approached this amphibious assault ship for a landing 100 miles off the North Carolina coast. It nestled in undaunted, touching down vertically like a helicopter onto the deck.

Crews rushed around in a well-scripted choreography, getting ready to usher it off the ship again. And with the pilot’s salute from the cockpit, and a thunderous rush toward the horizon, it was off again over the deep blue water.

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