The Navy made aviation history Monday when its version of the Joint Strike Fighter conducted the first arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego.

Navy test pilot Cmdr. Tony Wilson landed F-35C Lightning II aboard USS Nimitz, which is based in Everett, WA.

“Today is a landmark event in the development of the F-35C,” said Wilson. “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 F-35C combines advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, cutting-edge avionics and advanced jamming. With a broad wingspan, reinforced landing gear, ruggedized structures and durable coatings, the F-35C is designed to stand up to harsh shipboard conditions.

By 2025, the Navy’s carrier-based air wings will consist of a mix of F-35C, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft, E-2D Hawkeye battle-management and control aircraft, MH-60R/S helicopters and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft.

Lockheed Martin is also building variants of the fighter for the Air Force and Marine Corps.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.