The F-35C fighter jet made its first successful aircraft carrier landing off the coast of San Diego aboard the USS Nimitz Monday, US Navy said in a statement.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been plagued by technical glitches and budget issues, but the successful landing at sea is being hailed as a major step forward by the Pentagon.
The test flight saw the Joint Strike Fighter touchdown successfully, with the pilot guiding the plane so its tail-hook snagged on the ship's arresting wires, the US Navy said in a statement.
The initial at-sea Developmental Testing I (DT-I) for the F-35C began Monday and is expected to last for two weeks.
During DT-I two F-35C test aircrafts from the Naval Air Station Patuxent River will perform operational maneuvers including catapult takeoffs and arrested landings.
Integrated Test Force (ITF) flight test operations also encompass general maintenance and fitness tests for the aircraft and support equipment, and simulated maintenance operations.
The F-35C combines advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fused targeting, cutting-edge avionics, advanced jamming, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.