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Navy receives first F-35C fighter

June 25, 2013 at 8:29 AM
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FORT WORTH, Texas, June 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's first F-35C Lightning II fighter built by Lockheed Martin has been flown to Florida for use in training pilots and support crews.

The carrier variant CF-6 will be used by Strike Squadron 101 at Eglin Air Force Base, which will serve as the F-35C fleet replacement squadron.

Four additional carrier variants will be delivered to the Navy later this year.

"We are committed to the Navy's vision for the F-35 that will revolutionize forward-based combat power in current and future threat environments," said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program general manager. "The F-35 represents the new standard in weapon systems integration, maintainability, combat radius and payload that brings true multi-mission capability to the Navy."

The Navy's F-35C and Marine Corps' CV have larger wings and stronger landing gear than the other F-35 variants.

The F-35, a fifth-generation aircraft with stealth capability, is set to replace the NAVY'S F/A-18 and the Marine's AV-8B Harrier and the Air Force's A-10 and F-16 fighters.

The Navy plans to declare initial operational capability for the C-variant of the aircraft in 2019.

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