SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors and members of the community had the opportunity to observe an F-35C Lightning II aircraft static display at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, California, April 14.
The static display is part of a six-day visit by elements of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-101) "Grim Reapers" to NAS Lemoore. NAS Lemoore is the future basing site for the F-35C, scheduled to arrive in 2017.
"It was great to see so many Sailors and community members interested in the F-35C," said Cmdr. Frederick Crecelius, commanding officer, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101. "Lemoore will be the new home of the F-35C in the future, and I think there was a lot of interest to see what it looks like up close and get a preview of it sitting beside the Super Hornets that it will be operating with in the air wing of the future."
The F-35C combines advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fused targeting, cutting-edge avionics, advanced jamming, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. With a broad wingspan, reinforced landing gear, ruggedized structures and durable coatings, the F-35C is designed to stand up to harsh shipboard conditions while delivering a lethal combination of fighter capabilities to the fleet.
Although VFA-101 is the Navy's newest Fighter squadron, they possess a rich heritage. The original Fighter Squadron (VF) 101 was established in 1942 and flew various aircraft including the F-14 Tomcat. When the F-14 was retired in 2005, VF-101 was disestablished. Today, the "Grim Reapers" are ushering in a new era with the F-35C.
The F-35C will enhance the flexibility, power projection, and strike capabilities of carrier air wings and joint task forces and will complement the capabilities of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, which currently serves as the Navy's premier strike fighter.
By 2025, the Navy's aircraft carrier-based air wings will consist of a mix of F-35C, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers electronic attack aircraft, E-2D Hawkeye battle management and control aircraft, MH-60R/S helicopters and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft.
Ten F-35C Lightning II carrier variant aircraft will be assigned to a strike fighter squadron based at NAS Lemoore in early 2017.
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