The US Navy is conducting Operational Test-1 (OT-1) of the F-35C Lightning II aircraft aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 and Carrier Strike Group 12.
OT-1 evaluates the full spectrum of the F-35C’s suitability for operation within a carrier air wing and mission effectiveness to the maximum extent possible.
“The F-35C brings stealth, enhanced electronic capabilities and a different sustainment model,” said Rear Adm. Dale Horan, director, Joint Strike Fighter Fleet Integration Office. “Operating this new generation of aircraft out on the aircraft carrier brings a different set of tools, techniques and procedures, and we’re learning how to integrate them into the battle group.”
The F-35C has the ability to pass on the information it collects not only to other F-35s in the air, but to legacy aircraft, carrier air wings, strike groups and troops on ground, enhancing the warfighting potential of the fleet.
Evaluators have been assessing the suitability of the F-35C aboard carriers by defining how well it performs with other aircraft and incorporates into an air plan, monitoring maintenance and identifying its logistics footprint.
In addition to assessing the suitability of the F-35C on a Nimitz-class class aircraft carrier, OT-1 evaluators observed the effectiveness of the F-35C in real-world scenarios.
“The effectiveness piece is what we’re doing when we’re airborne and executing missions,” said Capt. Matt Norris, from the Joint Strike Fighter Operational Test Team. “We’ve been integrating with the strike group and accomplishing many missions like defensive counter air and anti-submarine warfare, for instance.”
Previously, F-35C and F/A-18 Super Hornet pilots have only conducted carrier qualifications together, so OT-1 marks the first time the F-35Cs have joined a carrier air wing to perform in a cyclic operations environment.
During cyclic operations, aircraft simulate missions, practice aerial maneuvers and take off and land continuously with brief pauses to allow for maintenance, fuel and ordnance changes.
Aboard Abraham Lincoln, the F-35C has been flying cyclic operations with F/A-18 Super Hornets, E-2D Hawkeyes and EA-18G Growlers, conducting missions it would execute in combat if required. The addition of the F-35C brings advanced capabilities that transform the way an air wing conducts operations.
Operational Test-1 helps give the Navy an assessment of how the aircraft would perform on deployment. As adversaries advance and legacy aircraft age, the F-35C is critical to maintaining air dominance.
“This is the first time we really see how the aircraft works on the aircraft carrier; how we do maintenance and sustain it while we’re at sea; how it integrates with the ship; how it interoperates with communications, datalinks, the other aircraft; and how we conduct missions and tie in to other aircraft when we conduct missions,” said Horan.
And while pilots adapted to the new aircraft, the crew of Abraham Lincoln also adjusted to the F-35s. From Aviation Boatswain’s Mates to Air-traffic Controllers, each Sailor learned to manage the aircraft with its unique attributes and capabilities.
“The level of planning that is required to execute an evolution like we did for OT-1 is huge, so everyone aboard Abraham Lincoln should be proud of the level of effort that they put in and how well they executed,” said Norris. “We can’t fly this aircraft without everything the ship does for us, and the Lincoln has been an impressive ship.”
With the successful completion of OT-1, the fifth-generation aircraft is one step closer to becoming deployable in the Navy fleet.
“The aircraft looks like a naval aircraft on the flight deck. From that perspective, the big picture looks pretty good,” Horan added.
Data and lessons learned during OT-1 will lay the groundwork for future F-35C deployments aboard U.S. Navy aircraft carriers following the Navy’s F-35C initial operating capability declaration.
One of the military aircraft which was undergoing a routine flight test caused a series of sonic booms on Thursday – felt from southern New Jersey to Long Island, the US Navy statement said. The Naval Test Wing Atlantic, based out of the Naval Air Station in Patuxent River, Md
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 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 U.S Navy took delivery of its first F-35C Joint Strike Fighter training aircraft from Lockheed Martin on 22 June
Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding is being awarded an $80,886,408 contract for fiscal 2010 advance planning to prepare and make ready for the refueling complex overhaul of the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and its reactor plants. This effort will provide for all advanced planning, ship checks, design, documentation, engineering, procurement, fabrication, and preliminary shipyard or support facility work
A United States Marine Corps F-35B fighter aircraft has crashed in Beaufort County early Friday afternoon. This is the same variant that flew into its first airstrike mission in Afghanistan on Thursday
The United States Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin have finalized an $11.5 billion contract for the production and delivery of 141 F-35 aircraft at the lowest per aircraft price in program history
US Stealth Jets' Troubleshooting Drone, 'Valkyrie' Damaged in Test Flight
Kuwait to buy Heavy Equipment Recovery Vehicles worth $281M
Tunisia to buy 12 -6C Texan Trainer Aircraft from US worth #234M
China Unveils Weird, Saucer-Shaped Armed Helicopter
Russian S-300s, S-400s Fail to Detect Israeli F-35s Flying Over Syria: Reports...
New GJ-11 Stealth Combat Drone with Flying Wing Design takes part in...
China to Deploy Sharp Sword Stealth Drone on Type-001A Carrier by Year-end...
USAF Develops "Thor" Electromagnetic Weapon to Hammer Enemy Drones
Sanctions-hit Iran has found ingenious ways to develop military hardware
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly permeating the defence industry to aid and improve human decision-making
Upgrade of Russias Sukhoi Su-30SM fighters to equip them with armaments, radar, sensors and engines from the more powerful Su-35...
US companies sanctioned by China for supplying weapons to Taiwan may be denied rare earth elements (REEs), which have critical...
While the US F-35 stealth aircraft has become one the fastest selling fighter jets in the world aircraft market, thanks...
Russian state-run Almaz-Antey has released additional data on its latest export-version of Buk-M3 Viking air defense missile system (ADMS)