The Navy’s F-35C carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter conducted its first arrested landing Nov. 3 aboard an aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego, Calif., a service statement said.
"Today is a landmark event in the development of the F-35C," Cmdr. Tony Wilson, a Navy test pilot with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron, said in a written statement. "It is the culmination of many years of hard work by a talented team of thousands. I'm very excited to see America's newest aircraft on the flight deck of her oldest aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz."
The goal of the initial testing is to collect environmental data through added instrumentation to measure the F-35C's integration to flight deck operations and to further define the F-35C's operating parameters aboard the aircraft carrier, a Navy statement said.
The test team will analyze data obtained during flight test operations, conduct a thorough assessment of how well the F-35C operated in the shipboard environment, and advise the Navy to make any adjustments necessary to ensure that the fifth-generation fighter is fully capable and ready to deploy to the fleet in 2018.
"Our F-35 integrated test team has done an amazing job preparing for today. This will be one landing out of thousands more that will happen over the next few decades," Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer, said in a written statement. "For months, we've been working with the Nimitz crew, Naval Air Forces, and our industry partners, Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney, as well as their suppliers, to prepare and train for this event. We plan on learning a lot during this developmental test and will use that knowledge to make the naval variant of the F-35 an even more effective weapons platform."
Here is a longer analysis of the carrier landing on Military.com.