WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Seven F-35B Lightning II jets are scheduled to conduct developmental and operational testing aboard the USS America amphibious assault ship, the sea service said Monday.
Two jets are slated for third-phase developmental testing, while five will undergo operational testing, the Navy said in a statement.
That third phase will evaluate the jet's short take-off vertical landing operations in a high-sea state, shipboard landings and night operations.
Operational testing will involve the simulation of extensive maintenance on a ship.
America is the first ship of its class that incorporates design elements specifically to accommodate the fifth-generation jet.
Among its enhanced aviation capabilities, the ship includes an enlarged hangar deck, realigned and expanded aviation maintenance facilities, increased stowage and more fuel capacity.
It can accommodate the Lightning II, U.S. Marine Corps Ospreys and various helicopters.