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F-35B Stealth Fighter Makes Historic Deployment Aboard US Assault Ship

F-35B Stealth Fighter Makes Historic Deployment Aboard US Assault Ship

The F-35 will become a fixture on aircraft carriers and air bases around the United States, ushering in a new era of sea and air power.

The Navy touted the move as a new era of weaponry in air and sea capability, and one of the most significant leaps in war-fighting for the Navy and Marine Corps.

A detachment of F-35B stealth fighters landed on the assault ship USS Wasp on March 5, marking the first time the combat aircraft has been deployed aboard a US Navy ship in the Indo-Pacific.

"This is a historic deployment", offered Col. Tye R. Wallace, commanding officer of the unit that received the planes.

"VFMFA-121 [Fighter Attack Squadron 121], assigned under the Okinawa-based 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, will remain embarked aboard Wasp for a regional patrol meant to strengthen regional alliances, provide rapid-response capability, and advance the Up-Gunned ESG concept", the service said in a March 5 statement.

But nobody has anything like the F-35B out at sea, and starting this month no smart U.S. adversary will ever look at naval warfare the same again.

More news: IShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Japan (JPMV) Declines 0.54% for Mar 7

Leveraging the short-takeoff, vertical landing ability of the F-35B, the pilots and maintainers drilled on setting up improvised refuel and reloading points, and how to quickly restock the jet for battle much like mechanics perform pit stops during NASCAR races. By adding these enabling capabilities, the amphibious force can more effectively defend against adversarial threats in the undersea, surface and air domains, as well provide offensive firepower to strike from the sea.

Congress is resisting Air Force efforts to retire the A-10 to make room in the budget for more F-35s.

It does that by pairing troop-carrying amphibious ships with surface vessels, such as guided-missile destroyers.

The USS Wasp is a 40,000-ton amphibious assault ship built by the US Marine Corps for launching seaborne invasions.

The stealth fighter ended up being much more hard to operate from aircraft carriers than expected with USS Wasp undergoing modifications in 2013 to enable the ship to carry the airfcraft.

Seventh Fleet's area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world's population with between 50-70 US ships and submarines, 140 aircraft and approximately 20,000 Sailors in the 7th fleet.


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