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WATCH: US Marine Corps Conducts Final Testing on F-35B Aboard USS America

© AP Photo / Cliff OwenA Marine Corp F-35B Joint Strike Fighter at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland
A Marine Corp F-35B Joint Strike Fighter at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland - Sputnik International
The Marine Corp’s variant of the F-35B jet recently began its third and final round of testing aboard the USS America. This last series of shipboard testing takes place before the first operational squadron of the joint strike fighter deploys to Japan in the coming months.

The Marine’s F-35B is the only version capable of executing vertical landings and short takeoffs, allowing it to operate aboard the Corps’ amphibious ships. To test the craft’s durability, planners and tests pilots conducted the tests in the choppy waters off the coast of San Diego, making the jet navigate the six-foot swells. 

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Testing will continue for the next three weeks, where the F-35B’s  aircraft software, weapons loadout, landing and takeoff abilities will be observed.

Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, the Marine’s deputy commandant for aviation told the Navy website that the jet "is the most versatile, agile, and technologically-advanced aircraft in the skies today, enabling our Corps to be the nation's force in readiness — regardless of the threat, and regardless of the location of the battle," adding, "As we modernize our fixed-wing aviation assets for the future, the continued development and fielding of the short take-off and vertical landing, the F-35B remains the centerpiece of this effort."

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