Six U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II jet aircraft arrived on the evening of May 18, 2015 aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) off the coast of the United States’ Eastern Seaboard to mark the beginning of the first shipboard phase of the F-35B Operational Test (OT-1).
The at-sea period will continue aboard USS Wasp (LHD-1) for the next two weeks, with fleet representative aircraft and maintenance personnel from Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 22, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadrons 13 and 31.
OT-1 will assess the integration of the F-35B while operating across a wide array of flight and deck operations. Specific OT-1 objectives include:
- demonstrating and assessing day and night flight operations in varying aircraft configurations;
- digital interoperability of aircraft and ship systems;
- F-35B landing signal officer’s launch and recovery software;
- day and night weapons loading;
- all aspects of maintenance, logistics, and sustainment support of the F-35B while deployed at sea.
Additionally, the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team is working closely with Naval Sea Systems Command to assess specific modifications made to USS Wasp (LHD-1) to support future deployments.
«The F-35 Lightning II is the most versatile, agile and technologically-advanced aircraft in the skies today, enabling our Marine Corps to be the nation’s force in readiness, regardless of the threat, and regardless of the location of the battle», said Lieutenant General Jon Davis, the Deputy Commandant for Marine Corps Aviation. «As we modernize our fixed-wing aviation assets for the future, the continued development and fielding of the short take-off and vertical landing, the F-35B remains the centerpiece of this effort».
Data collected and lessons learned during OT-1 will lay the groundwork for F-35B deployments aboard U.S. Navy amphibious carriers following the Marine Corps’ F-35B Initial Operating Capability (IOC) declaration planned for this coming July.
Length: 51.2 feet/15.6 m
Height: 14.3 feet/4.36 m
Wingspan: 35 feet/10.7 m
Wing area: 460 feet2/42.7 m2
Horizontal tail span: 21.8 feet/6.65 m
Weight empty: 32,300 lbs/14,651 kg
Internal fuel capacity: 13,500 lb/6,125 kg
Weapons payload: 15,000 lbs/6,800 kg
Maximum weight: 60,000 lbs class/27,215 kg
Standard internal weapons load:
Two AIM-120C Air-to-Air Missiles
Two 2,000-pound/907-kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs
Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings): F135-PW-600
Maximum Power (with afterburner): 41,000 lbs/182,4 kN/ 18,597 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner): 27,000 lbs/120,1 kN/ 12,247 kgf
Short Take Off Thrust: 40,740 lbs/181,2 kN/18,479 kgf
Hover Thrust: 40,650 lbs/180,8 kN/18,438 kgf
Main Engine: 18,680 lbs/83,1 kN/8,473 kgf
Lift Fan: 18,680 lbs/83,1 kN/8,473 kgf
Roll Post: 3,290 lbs/14,6 kN/1,492 kgf
Length: 369 in/9.37 m
Main Engine Inlet Diameter: 43 in/1.09 m
Main Engine Maximum Diameter: 46 in/1.17 m
Lift Fan Inlet Diameter: 51 in/1,30 m
Lift Fan Maximum Diameter: 53 in/1,34 m
Conventional Bypass Ratio: 0.57
Powered Lift Bypass Ratio: 0.51
Conventional Overall Pressure Ratio: 28
Powered Lift Overall Pressure Ratio: 29
Speed (full internal weapons load): Mach 1.6 (~1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)
Combat radius (internal fuel): >450 NM/833 km
Range (internal fuel): >900 NM/1,667 km
Max g-rating: 7.0
U.S. Marine Corps: 340;
U.K. Royal Air Force/Royal Navy: 138;
In total: 508