US Navy declares the latest combat-ready stealth fighter



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After more than two decades of testing and development, the service announced Thursday that the aircraft evolved had reached its initial operational capability, which means that it had passed the necessary tests to perform missions .

Thursday's announcement comes shortly after the Navy's first F-35 squadron completed the aircraft carrier qualifications aboard USS Carl Vinson.

"The F-35C is ready for operations, ready for battle and ready to win," said Vice Admiral DeWolfe Miller, commander of the Navy Air Force. "We are adding an incredible weapons system to the arsenal of our carrier strike groups that dramatically improve the capabilities of the joint force."

Formally stating that the stealth fighter plane is ready for deployment is an important step for the Navy and the main contractor, Lockheed Martin.

"We congratulate the Department of the Navy on achieving its initial operational capability with its F-35C fleet," said Greg Ulmer, vice-president of Lockheed Martin and general manager of the F-35 program, in a statement. communicated.

"This milestone is the result of the unwavering dedication of our joint government and industry team, which aims to provide the world's deadliest, most survivable and connected hunters and aircraft to the men and women of Canada. the US Navy, "he added.

The American F-35 fighter makes his first airstrike

Described as the future of military aviation, the F-35 is a versatile and lethal aircraft that combines stealth capabilities, supersonic speed, extreme agility and state-of-the-art sensor fusion technology. technology, according to Lockheed.

The jet, which maintains stealth capabilities making detection by enemy radar more difficult, has been preferred by President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly praised the F-35 for its "invisible".

However, the aircraft, which is the most expensive weapon system in history, has also drawn sharp criticism in recent years, after having faced a long list of setbacks, particularly in regarding software, engines and weapons systems.

And critics continue to express skepticism about the combat capability of the F-35 despite assurances from US military leaders that the problems are solved.

The F-35C is one of three variants of the aircraft. The US Marine Corps has declared its first F-35 squadron ready to be deployed in July 2015 and the Air Force has announced that its version of the aircraft was ready for use. fight in August 2016.

Japan will have its first aircraft carriers since World War II

The Marine Corps reached an important milestone last year by deploying its variant in Japan – the first permanent deployment of the aircraft abroad.

And last May, Israel declared that it was using its version of the F-35 as part of operational missions. It was the first time that the plane was involved in a real combat situation.

CNN had previously reported that an American F-35B had made its first airstrike in September, according to the US Marine Corps and three US defense officials.

The strike took place in Afghanistan against a fixed target of the Taliban. The aircraft in question was the US Navy variant of the US Marine Corps that departed from the USS Essex amphibious assault ship.

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