View Full Version : 5 things about the F-35 for Marines

07-05-2009, 04:38 PM
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter The Corps expects to start using the F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter in 2012, when it will begin replacing its AV-8B Harriers, F/A-18 Hornets and many EA-6B Prowlers. Similar to the MV-22 Osprey, the Corps’ short take-off and vertical landing fighter could overhaul the way the service conducts air warfare. Here’s your JSF cheat sheet:
1 The timeline. The F-35B has conducted test flights using traditional take-offs and landings, and tests show the STOVL thrusters have sufficient power. The full test of its STOVL capabilities has been delayed until this fall. The Corps will be the first service to field the aircraft, so the Navy and Air Force are watching closely.

2 Easier maintenance. For Marines who fix fighter jets, the F-35 will streamline your life. The plane digitally monitors its mechanical functions, and transmits status updates and potential problems to flight deck computers before the plane even lands. A single supply chain may reduce headaches. (But don’t be surprised if the Corps scales back on manning so Marines remain just as busy.)
3 No need for NFOs. All JSFs are sin­gle-seaters, meaning job prospects for back-seat flyers will dwindle as the F-35 comes online. Today’s younger naval flight officers may be affected because the last of the two­seat Super Hornets may retire in about 15 years. By then, unmanned fighters may be around the corner.
4 The end of TacAir integration? The Corps won’t need Navy carri­ers to operate its fighter fleet. They can fly from amphibs — or even small for­ward operating bases. Right now, it’s not clear if Marine F-35Bs will oper­ate on carriers. If not, Marines and sailors may not work together as much as they have in recent years.

5 You’re not alone. Eight other coun­tries will fly an almost identical aircraft. All of those foreign mili­taries will get the same airframe, sensors, avionics and software.

source Paid edition of Marine Corps times