Wednesday, May 20, 2015

USMC F-35Bs undergoing shipboard operational tests

USMC F-35Bs undergoing shipboard operational tests: The first shipboard operational tests of U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II fighters are being conducted from the carrier USS Wasp.

The Marine Corps said six of its F-35B aircraft landed on the carrier on Monday and that the OT-1 phase will occur over the next two weeks while the vessel cruises off the U.S. East Coast.

The testing is to assess the integration of the F-35B while operating across a wide array of flight and deck operations. Specific objectives of the testing includes assessing day and night flight operations; digital interoperability of aircraft and ship systems; the effectiveness of the landing signal officer's launch and recovery software; day and night weapons loading; and all aspects of maintenance, logistics, and sustainment support of the F-35B at sea.

The Marine Corps said data collected and lessons learned the OT-1 phase will lay the groundwork for F-35B deployments aboard U.S. Navy amphibious carriers.

The F-35B is expected to receive an initial operating capability declaration in July.