The US Navy has received the second F-35B Lightning II short take-off / vertical landing (STOVL) stealth fighter from Lockheed Martin at the navy's test site in Patuxent River, Maryland.
Lockheed Martin F-35 programme general manager Dan Crowley said the test site was ready to begin the extensive four-year flight test campaign to help field the future of marine corps and naval aviation.
"Over the next year, an integrated government / industry test team will ramp up the flight test at Pax River for the F-35B STOVL variant and F-35C carrier variant, and at Edwards Air Force Base, California, for the F-35A conventional take-off and landing variant," he said.
The F-35 autonomic logistics information system will support the aircraft while the F-35 Autonomics Logistics Global Sustainment Operations Center in Fort Worth will monitor the flights.
The F-35 team has developed an advanced sustainment system capability with in-built sustainability which will reduce overall maintenance costs while ensuring operational readiness.
The F-35 Lightning II is a fifth-generation fighter aircraft that combines advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, advanced sustainment, and lower operational and support costs.
Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 in collaboration with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.