The US Marine Corps (USMC) has received its first carrier variant (CV) Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) on 22 December.
The USMC is acquiring a mixed fleet of short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B and CV F-35C aircraft. The current plan is for the Corps' current McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier IIs to be replaced by 353 F-35Bs, and its Boeing F/A-18 Hornets to be replaced by 67 F-35Cs.
Initial operating capability for the F-35B is slated to be achieving in the coming months, while that for the F-35C is expected in 2018.
CF-19 was the 36th and final F-35 to be delivered this year. Aircraft delivered in 2014 comprised 23 conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35As to the US Air Force (USAF), two F-35As to the Royal Australian Air Force, four F-35Bs to the USMC, six F-35Cs to the USN, and one F-35C to the USMC.
After 2016, Lockheed Martin intends to ramp-up to full-rate production of about one aircraft per day.