The Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter has made a successful trap onboard USS Nimitz (CVN-68).
“F-35C completes first carrier landing,” the U.S. Navy’s twitter feed announced at about 5p EST on Monday.
Two of the single-engine stealth fighter are scheduled to conduct sea trials onboard the nearly 100,000-ton warship this week to prove the jet can operate safely on the flightdeck.
#BREAKINGNEWS: F-35C completes first carrier landing. MTF
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) November 3, 2014
The Joint Strike Fighter Program Office is deploying test aircraft CF-3 and CF-5 to the carrier. The two jets are fully instrumented and are cleared to operate with a full flight envelope. Once onboard Nimitz, the jets will be run through the gamut of carrier operations.
Earlier in the year, F-35 program manager Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan said that he had some doubts as to if the sea trials were going to be possible because of problems with the aircraft’s hook and nose landing gear. Given the rigorous testing the two jets have undergone, the situation has improved. “I feel pretty good about this now,” Bogdan said.