F-35C Due to Start Carrier Tests

Feb 06, 2014 No Comments by

The naval version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is due to start flight tests on an aircraft carrier at sea in October after Lockheed Martin Corp. said it had fixed the tailhook used to arrest the plane’s landing on a ship’s deck.

Lockheed was forced to redesign the tailhook, and said Wednesday that the naval version of the advanced jet — known as the F-35C Lightning II — was “on schedule and progressing well for sea trials” after a test plane successfully landed 36 times with the new version during trials on land.

The problems with the tailhook and a pricey new pilot helmet become symbolic of broader issues with the F-35 program as the complexity of trying to develop three different models simultaneously with a high level of shared parts led to a cascade of technical problems and cost overruns.

For the complete story by Doug Cameron of The Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required), click here.

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