's fifth generation F-35B has completed its 18-day Development Test-II phase, performing 95 vertical landings and 94 short takeoffs onboard the USS Wasp, helping to determine the aircraft's suitability for sea-based missions.
The ship trials conclude a key milestone for the Marine Corps' path to Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for maritime operations by 2015.
“A fifth-generation aircraft, such as the F-35, will open up threat areas where previous legacy fighters that operate off L-class ships weren’t even invited to play. So, an F-35B operating from this type of ship really gives a joint war-fighting commander different options to affect change in the world wherever it is necessary," said U.S. Navy Capt. Erik Etz.