12/06/2016: PACIFIC OCEAN (NOV. 17, 2016) The F-35 Lightning II Pax River Integrated Test Force (ITF) wrapped up its third and final developmental test phase (DT-III) of the F-35B Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant aboard amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) on November 17.
The Pax River ITF’s highly diverse cadre of technicians, maintainers, engineers, logisticians, support staff and test pilots embarked aboard USS America with two F-35B aircraft from Air Test & Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland on Oct. 28 to conduct testing.
During the three week detachment, the Pax River ITF completed the F-35B Launch and Recovery Bulletin for the fleet, attained the F-35B’s final flight clearances for operating from L-Class ships, and achieved 128 Vertical Landings (VL)s, 126 Short Take Offs (STO)s, and two Vertical Take Offs (VTO)s across 60 flights that logged 53.5 flight hours.
The F-35B STOVL DT-III lays the groundwork for upcoming U.S. Marine Corps F-35B deployments aboard U.S. Navy amphibious assault ships beginning in 2018.
Also aboard USS America with the Salty Dogs of VX-23 were Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron (VMX) 1 from Edwards AFB, California and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 from MCAS Yuma, Arizona.
(U.S. Navy Video by Andy Wolfe/Released)
SAN DIEGO, CA, UNITED STATES
F-35 Lighting II Pax River ITF