SAN DIEGO -- The U.S. Navy's Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101 received the Navy's first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant aircraft from Lockheed Martin June 22 at the squadron's home at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The F-35C is a fifth generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. The F-35C will enhance the flexibility, power projection, and strike capabilities of carrier air wings and joint task forces and will complement the capabilities of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, which currently serves as the Navy's premier strike fighter.
By 2025, the Navy's aircraft carrier-based air wings will consist of a mix of F-35C, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers electronic attack aircraft, E-2D Hawkeye battle management and control aircraft, Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) air vehicles, MH-60R/S helicopters and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft. VFA 101, based at Eglin Air Force Base, will serve as the F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron, training both aircrew and maintenance personnel to fly and repair the F-35C.