Defense

December 10, 2012

Pilot calls F-35 big leap in fighter capability

Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

The F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter jet will be a strategic deterrent for the nation because of its “huge leap in capability,” a Marine Corps pilot said.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Scott, commander of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wingís Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., recently told the Pentagon Channel the F-35 will allow Marines to perform missions in high-threat areas, unlike existing aircraft.

The F-35 will be able to do every mission now performed by the AV-8 Harrier does now, but will be able to do it in more situations, said Scott, who is involved with flying and testing the new aircraft. The new fighter will provide access to more areas, he explained, and will allow more time for rolling back enemy defenses.

The Defense Department and Lockheed Martin reached an agreement in principle last week to manufacture 32 F-35s in the Pentagonís largest weapons program. Lockheed Martin will produce 22 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variants for the Air Force, three F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing variants for the Marine Corps, and seven F-35C carrier variants for the Navy.

Scott said flying the F-35 is an easy transition from the Harrier, and that it did exceptionally well, during a recent trial at sea.

ìThe sensors and systems are the big leap deploying the aircraft in terms of tactics,î he said.

ìThe Lightning will fulfill a lot of the functions of Marine Corps aviation — such as [our] air support role, antiair, targeting enemy ground locations and supporting the troops on the ground — as Harriers and [F/A-18] Hornets do now,î he added. ìBut it brings more in one aircraft in its ability to protect itself from the enemy.

Scott said the F-35 will give the military ìa huge leap in capability, probably five or six steps beyond what we now have.

ìWe’re going to have this aircraft for a long time,î he said. ìAs we get more and more of these aircraft in all of the services, weíre going to see a lot of the benefits that the aircraft has in terms of commonality. As we start operating tactically, some of the communications [and] capabilities will become more and more valuable to the services, Ö and it will be in demand to combatant commanders around the world.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Sean Martin

Bomber crews showcase take-off talents

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_8qr7ojpWg&feature=player_embedded Air Force photograph by SSgt. Sean Martin A B-52H Stratofortress starts its engines during a Minimum Interval Takeoff on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Au...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Darin Russell

Army selected for Joint Strike Fighter software assessment

Lockheed Martin photograph by Darin Russell BF-17, Maj. Richard “BC” Rusnok and BF-18, Lt. Col. Jon “Miles” Ohman, fly behind a KC-130J, over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Sept. 26, 2013. The F-35 Join...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Jarad A. Denton

New rotation takes reigns at Powidz AB, Poland

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Jarad A. Denton Two C-130J Super Hercules come in for a landing Aug. 14, 2014, at Powidz Air Base, Poland. The aircraft, deployed from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, are part of a training deployment ...
 

 
Courtesy photograph

AWACS upgrade achieves initial operational capability

Courtesy photograph An E-3G Sentry, an Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, sits on a flightline. In support of air-to-ground operations, Sentry crews can provide direct information needed for interdiction, reconnaissa...
 
 
Navy photograph

Fleet Readiness Center East repairs Harrier using 3-D printing

Navy photograph Patternmaker Caleb Guelich, left, and engineer Justin Reynolds, both of Fleet Readiness Center East, inspect polymer form blocks made through fused deposition modeling, a type of additive manufacturing, also com...
 
 

Standard Missile shows versatility with ëJulietí flight tests

The Navy executed a successful flight test of the surface-to-air Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) at White Sands Missile Range, Aug. 14. During flight test “Juliet,” the Navy examined the missile’s ability to intercept a subsonic, low altitude target over land. Juliet is one of 10 follow on operational test and evaluation (FOT&E) events planned for SM-6′s...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>