In case you haven’t seen it, the Marine Corps F-35B Joint Strike Fighter is set to begin sea trials aboard the amphibious assault ship, USS Wasp next week.
From Marine Corps Times:
“They start on 3rd October, and should last only two weeks,” said Lt. Gen. Terry Robling, the Marine’s deputy commandant for aviation. “But we have the USS Wasp for six weeks in case there are some anomalies.”
Robling expressed confidence that the sea trials would go well.
According to Lockheed Martin F-35 program manager, Tom Burbage, both the Lightning II aircraft and the amphibious assault ship Wasp have been instrumented for the trials.
Successful sea trials would be a coup for the Marines and the F-35B program, which then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates placed on two-year probation last year.
That’s pretty huge considering the event will mark the first time any variant of the F-35 has landed on a ship. While the F-35B has been making plenty of flight test progress this year, some are still worrying that it will be cut. Heck, one Marine aviator is even suggesting that the Corps consider buying F-22 Raptors if the Bravo doesn’t work out.