An F-35B Lightning II hovers before landing aboard the USS America
during the Lightning Carrier Proof of Concept Demonstration. The
demonstration is the first shipboard Marine Corps F-35B integration
demonstration alongside other Marine Corps Air Combat Element assets.
(source: U.S. Pacific Command)
The US Marine Corps today declared the F-35B jump-jet model flying with VMFA-121 to have achieved initial operational capability (IOC). VMFA-121 has ten aircraft in the Block 2B configuration with the requisite performance envelope and weapons clearances, to include the training, sustainment capabilities, and infrastructure to deploy to an austere site or a ship
What do you think of Australia and/or Aus military?
Australia has quite the strong navy, now more than ever after the introduction of the Canberra-class helo carriers, which could potentially become carriers if the aussies buy the F-35B, but overall their number of frigates is far too small, with only 11, basically slaved to protect the carriers in any battlegroup.
Their army is relatively small and with few heavy equipment, but it’s all state-of-the-art, so it’s enough for this island nation.
And their air force is all-around excellent, well-suited to defend the country
On 20 November, VMFA(AW)-121 was officially redesignated VMFA-121, accepting delivery of the first three F-35B aircraft becoming the first operational F-35B squadron in the Marine Corps Operating Forces and the first operational F-35 squadron in any service
An F-35B Lightning II aircraft piloted by Royal Air Force test pilot and Squadron Leader Andy Edgell launches from the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) equipped with inert 500-pound GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided test bombs during flight operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyle Goldberg/Released)