The Marines’ first squadron of new F-35C Lightning II stealth fighters at Miramar was certified safe-for-flight on Friday.
The Marine Corps called the certification a “historic accomplishment even while conducting precautionary
measures to stem the spread of novel coronavirus,”
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar has been host to several groups of evacuees from China and cruise ship passengers since February, and two Marines have tested positive for the virus.
“Today’s achievement marks a significant milestone and the beginning of a new chapter in our storied legacy,” said Lt. Col. Cedar Hinton, commanding officer of Fighter Attack Squadron 314. “The F-35C advances our capability well into the next generation of fighter-attack aircraft and will keep our squadron, and our service, relevant for decades to come.”
The “C” model of the 5th-generation fighter is designed to fly off the Navy’s aircraft carriers. It has longer wings, a greater fuel capacity and stronger landing gear that other versions of the aircraft.
The F-35C will gradually replace the venerable F-18 Hornets used for decades by both the Navy and Marines.
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