Tag Archives: F-35С Lightning II

Safe-For-Flight

The Commander, Naval Air Forces and the U.S. Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation jointly announced that the aircraft carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C Lightning II, met all requirements and achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC).

Three F-35C Lightning II aircraft attached to the «Argonauts» of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, the «Rough Raiders» of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 and the «Grim Reapers» of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, all attached to Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, complete a flight over Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, February 1, 2019. Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, headquartered at NASL ensures that each F-35C Lightning II squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for Commander, Naval Air Forces. With its stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35C Lightning II will be the first 5th generation aircraft operated from an aircraft carrier (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon E. Renfroe/Released)
Three F-35C Lightning II aircraft attached to the «Argonauts» of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, the «Rough Raiders» of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 and the «Grim Reapers» of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, all attached to Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, complete a flight over Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, February 1, 2019. Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, headquartered at NASL ensures that each F-35C Lightning II squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for Commander, Naval Air Forces. With its stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35C Lightning II will be the first 5th generation aircraft operated from an aircraft carrier (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon E. Renfroe/Released)

The February 28 announcement comes shortly after the Department of the Navy’s first F-35C Lightning II squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, completed aircraft carrier qualifications aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and received Safe-For-Flight Operations Certification.

In order to declare IOC, the first operational squadron must be properly manned, trained and equipped to conduct assigned missions in support of fleet operations. This includes having 10 Block 3F, F-35C Lightning II aircraft, requisite spare parts, support equipment, tools, technical publications, training programs and a functional Autonomic Logistic Information System (ALIS).

Additionally, the ship that supports the first squadron must possess the proper infrastructure, qualifications and certifications. Lastly, the Joint Program Office, industry, and Naval Aviation must demonstrate that all procedures, processes and policies are in place to sustain operations.

«The F-35C is ready for operations, ready for combat and ready to win», said Commander Naval Air Forces, Vice Admiral DeWolfe Miller. «We are adding an incredible weapon system into the arsenal of our Carrier Strike Groups that significantly enhances the capability of the joint force».

Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore is the home-base for the Navy’s Joint Strike Fighter Wing, Navy F-35C Lightning II fleet squadrons and the Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS), VFA-125 that trains Navy and Marine Corps CVN-based Joint Strike Fighter pilots. To accommodate the F-35C Lightning II program at NAS Lemoore, several facilities were built or remodeled to facilitate specific F-35C Lightning II requirements with regard to maintenance and training, including a Pilot Fit Facility, Centralized Engine Repair Facility, Pilot Training Center and a newly-remodeled hangar. Future projects are planned as additional Navy squadrons transition into the F-35C Lightning II. The Marine Corps plans to transition four F-35C Lightning II squadrons that will be assigned to Carrier Air Wings for deployments.

«We’re very proud of what our Sailors have accomplished in the Joint Strike Fighter community», said CAPT Max McCoy, commodore of the U.S. Navy’s Joint Strike Fighter Wing. «Their commitment to mission delivered fifth generation capability to the carrier air wing, making us more combat effective than ever before. We will continue to learn and improve ways to maintain and sustain F-35C as we prepare for first deployment. The addition of F-35C to existing Carrier Air Wing capability ensures that we can fight and win in contested battlespace now and well into the future».

Meanwhile, Rear Admiral Dale Horan, director, USN F-35C Lightning II Fleet Integration Office said, «The F-35C will revolutionize capability and operating concepts of aircraft carrier-based naval aviation using advanced technologies to find, fix and assess threats and, if necessary, track, target and engage them in all contested environments», adding «This accomplishment represents years of hard work on the part of the F-35 Joint Program Office and Naval Aviation Enterprise. Our focus has now shifted to applying lessons learned from this process to future squadron transitions, and preparing VFA-147 for their first overseas deployment».

The mission-ready F-35C Lightning II is the latest addition to U.S. Navy’s Carrier Air Wing. With its stealth technology, state-of-the-art avionics, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the aircraft carrier-based F-35C Lightning II provides unprecedented air superiority, interdiction, suppression of enemy air defenses and close-air-support as well as advanced command and control functions through fused sensors. These state-of-the art capabilities provide pilots and combatant commanders unrivaled battlespace awareness and lethality. The F-35C Lightning II is the final U.S. Joint Strike Fighter variant to declare IOC and follows the USAF’s F-35A Lightning II and USMC’s F-35B Lightning II. IOC declaration is a significant milestone.

 

F-35С Lightning II specifications

Length 51.5 feet/15.7 m
Height 14.7 feet/4.48 m
Wing span 43 feet/13.1 m
Wing area 668 feet2/62.1 m2
Horizontal tail span 26.3 feet/8.02 m
Weight empty 34,800 lbs/15,785 kg
Internal fuel capacity 19,750 lbs/8,960 kg
Weapons payload 18,000 lbs/8,160 kg
Maximum weight 70,000 lbs class/31,751 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-400
Maximum Power (with afterburner) 43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner) 28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf
Propulsion Length 220 inch/5.59 m
Propulsion Inlet Diameter 46 inch/1.17 m
Propulsion Maximum Diameter 51 inch/1.30 m
Propulsion Bypass Ratio 0.57
Propulsion Overall Pressure Ratio 28
Speed (full internal weapons load) Mach 1.6/1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h
Combat radius (internal fuel) >600 NM/683.5 miles/1,100 km
Range (internal fuel) >1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km
Max g-rating 7.5

 

Planned Quantities

U.S. Navy 260
U.S. Marine Corps 80
In total 340