U.S. Navy’s F-35C Lightning II carrier variant aircraft assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 and the Grim Reapers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, the Navy’s F-35C Fleet replacement squadron, conduct flight operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). VX-23 is conducting its third and final developmental test (DT-III) phase of the F-35C. VFA-101 is conducting its first carrier qualifications with the aircraft.
The supersonic, multi-role, multi-service F-35C Lightning II represents a quantum leap in air superiority capability. Combining the next-generation fighter characteristics of radar-evading stealth, supersonic speed and fighter agility with the most powerful and comprehensive integrated sensor package of any fighter aircraft in history, the F-35C delivers unprecedented lethality and survivability to Naval Aviation. The F-35C is expected to be Fleet operational in 2018.