20:49 GMT29 November 2020
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    A new video shows the US’ stealthy but frequently broken F-35B taking off from an amphibious assault ship in the East China Sea.

    The 30-second video was captured by the US Navy and released March 5.

    The aircraft conducted regional patrol flights in the East China Sea, the US Navy said. The jets in the video are taking off from and landing on the USS Wasp, an amphibious assault vessel that recent made history for being the first US vessel to conduct F-35 naval aviation missions with a Marine Expeditionary Unit in the Indo-Pacific.

    Last week, Sputnik published a report featuring a close-up view of the fifth-generation plane landing vertically, as a helicopter would. About 23 seconds into the video above, the frame switches to show what appears to be an F-35 taking off from the USS Wasp without using its vertical fans. It's not clear if the plane had already achieved liftoff before beginning its ascent or if it took off with the help of a supporting launch mechanism.

    Lockheed Martin first published footage of F-35Bs conducting trial flights from the USS Wasp in 2011.

    In 2015, the Defense Department announced that the squadron of F-35s on the USS Wasp patrolling the East China Sea this week was "ready for worldwide deployment." The planes in the video and the squadron that passed the operational readiness inspection in 2015 belong to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, or VMFA-121.


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    f-35, US Navy, East China Sea
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