The Marines are testing their newest stealth jet, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, aboard the Navy’s latest amphibious assault ship.
Five of the vertical take-off stealth jets landed on the San Diego-based USS America on Friday, the Navy reported Monday, and the new ship will soon have seven aboard.
America, the first ship of its class, incorporates key design elements to accommodate the fifth-generation fighter, which is undergoing operational testing during high seas and at night.
“The F-35 Lightning II is the most versatile, agile, and technologically-advanced aircraft in the skies today, enabling our Corps to be the nation’s force in readiness — regardless of the threat, and regardless of the location of the battle,” said Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, the Marine Corps’ deputy commandant for aviation.
Though smaller than the Navy’s nuclear-powered supercarriers, the America is the same size as the lone aircraft carriers operated by both the Russian and Chinese navies and supports as many aircraft.
In addition to up to 20 F-35Bs, the America can carry MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and helicopters.
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