Ten F-35C Lightning II jets of the “Argonauts” of VFA-147 aircraft sit on the flight line at Naval Air Station Lemoore (NASL). Commander, Naval Air Forces, Vice Admiral DeWolfe Miller H. III and United States Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation (DCA), Lieutenant General Steven R. Rudder jointly announced that the F-35C met all requirements and achieved Initial Operating Capability (IOC) 28 FEB 2019. US Navy photo.
This post has been updated to include additional information from the Joint Strike Fighter Wing and context from Naval Air Forces.
The Navy’s Joint Strike Fighter Wing commodore is focused on getting the first operational F-35C carrier-variant squadron ready for its first deployment and figuring out how to incorporate its fifth-generation capabilities into the rest of a carrier air wing. Read More
Three F-35C Lightning II — one each attached to the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, the “Rough Raiders “Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 and the “Grim Reapers” Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101 — complete a flight overhead Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., Feb. 1, 2019. US Navy photo.
The Navy declared today that its F-35C Joint Strike Fighter was operationally ready to deploy and conduct missions around the world. Read More
Sailors load a Harpoon anti-ship cruise missile aboard the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Olympia (SSN 717) as part of the biannual Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) maritime exercise, July 3, 2018. US Navy photo.
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Each Navy community is updating its tactics and weapons with lethality and a potential high-end distributed fight in mind, several admirals said last week. Read More
USNI News polled its writers, naval analysts and service members on what they consider the most important military and maritime stories in 2018. This story is part of USNI News year-end series. Read More
Sailors direct an F-35C Lightning II assigned to the Argonauts of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 on the flight deck of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) on Dec. 8, 2018. US Navy photo.
The Navy’s first F-35C operational squadron completed its carrier qualifications and was deemed “safe for flight” – the final step in the squadron’s transition from the F/A-18E Super Hornet to the F35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, and an important step in the journey towards reaching initial operational capability. Read More
Two Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, transit the Pacific Ocean on Jan. 9, 2017. US Marine Corps Photo
The Pentagon modified its current F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter contract with Lockheed Martin to include an additional $6 billion intended to keep the production line going as details of a future contract are negotiated. Read More
Capt. Andrew “Dojo” Olson, F-35 Heritage Flight Team pilot and commander, performs a tactical pitch maneuver in an F-35A Lightning II during the California Capital Airshow on Sept. 23, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif.
After being grounded last week, 80 percent of the operational U.S. and international F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter variants are now cleared to resume flight operations, following a fleet-wide fuel line inspection. Read More
An F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter prepares to launch from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) on Monday during operations in the Atlantic. USNI News Photo
ABOARD USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, IN THE ATLANTIC – The Navy’s F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter has been incorporated into a carrier air wing’s cyclic flight operations for the first time alongside aircraft from Carrier Air Wing 7. Read More
An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the “Blue Hawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 78 participates in a change of command ceremony near the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) on Jan. 15, 2018. US Navy Photo
The House Armed Services Committee added to its annual defense bill provisions allowing the military to buy more F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters if the program could achieve sufficient cost-savings, addressing the health and future of the MH-60R anti-submarine warfare helicopter, encouraging the Navy to continue buying aircraft carriers every three years, and more. Read More
USNI News polled its writers, naval analysts and service members on what they consider the most important military and maritime stories in 2017.
The following is part of a series. Please also see Top Stories: International Acquisition, Navy Operations, Marine Corps Operations, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Acquisition, International Operations and New Administration.
2017 began with the promise of planning for a larger fleet: at the end of 2016, the Navy announced a 355-ship requirement, and the incoming Trump Administration expressed its support for a larger military and a heftier Navy. Few concrete steps were taken this year, though, to begin a buildup – though many programs that will be pivotal to the 355-ship fleet of the future reached significant programmatic milestones in 2017.