It has been a long time coming. A very expensive and tortuous long time coming. But it seems like the wait is almost over. Expected to be Fleet operational in 2018, the F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three variants of the F-35 are projected to replace legacy fighters for the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps, and 10 other countries around the world.
In this video, the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, and the Grim Reapers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, put the U.S. Navy F-35 variant, the F-35C, through its paces aboard the USS George Washington (CVN 73). The former, VX-23 is conducting its third and final developmental test (DT-III) phase of the F-35C. In the meantime, the VFA-101 Grim Reapers are conducting its first carrier qualifications with the aircraft. All in all, the F-35C is expected to be Fleet operational in 2018.
In your estimation, is the F-35 Lightning II ready to be Fleet operational by 2018? Sound off and share your opinions and comments in the section below.