F-35B Operational Testing Aboard the USS Wasp


2015-05-27 On May 26, 2015, several journalists flew to the USS WASP aboard an Osprey from the Pentagon to the ship off of the North Carolina coast to talk with the Navy and Marine Corps personnel about the operational testing aboard the ship of the F-35B, its operations shipboard and its integration with the ship.

6 planes are onboard; 4 from Yuma (Green Knights) and 2 from Beaufort.

The planes flew from Yuma flew to Beaufort and all 6 then flew aboard the ship from Beaufort (Warlords).

Maintainers were from these two squadrons plus VMX-22 and reports aboard the ship from the maintenance side were that the plane was very maintainable at sea.

This video above shows one of the planes landing aboard the ship during the morning’s sorties from and to the ship.

There were several.

And at the start of the day there had been 88 sorties since OT started last week.

The plane has nearly 11,000 flight hours to date, much of that accumulated in the last 2 1/2 years.

After shipboard integration operational testing, next up is weapons certification of air to air and air to ground weapons for the operational pilots .

These weapons have already been tested in the Developmental Testing phase.

IOC will be this summer for the Green Knights at Yuma.

Aboard the ship were key representatives from the United Kingdom working as part of the team and leveraging these sea trials as part of their own preparation for the integration of the F-35 with the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The day was focused on the F-35 and ship integration, and a key point is that the plane and ship are working on integrating their combat systems.

A significant part of the F-35 impact is shaping what the Aussie Minister of Defense refers to as “fifth generation warfare” for his defense force, and the integration of the ship with the F-35B is part of this process for the USN-USMC team.

The XO of the ship, Captain Andrew “Mongo” Smith, highlighted that the ability of a 25 year old ship to become part of “fifth generation warfare” and its ability to operate the F-35 showed the flexibility of the ship and the USN-USMC team.

With the larger amphibious ships able to operate F-35s, Ospreys and CH-53Ks, the ability of the team to insert Marines at greater distance and safety was highlighted in various interviews aboard the ship.

The CO of VMX-22, Col. “Horse” Rauenhorst highlighted that their work as a squadron was focusing on the integration of the Osprey, the F-35 and the new CH53K as key elements enabling a more lethal and survivable MAGTF.

The infantry Marines will be inserted at greater distance, with greater flexibility to enhance their effectiveness and survivability.

That is the whole point of the innovation being tested aboard the USS WASP.

This video below shows  one of the planes taking off aboard the ship during the morning’s sorties from and to the ship.

F-35B Taking Off from the USS WASP from SldInfo.com on Vimeo.

Credit Video: Second Line of Defense