F-35B testing continues aboard the USS Wasp

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Norfolk, Va. – Six Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II aircraft are aboard the Norfolk-based USS Wasp as they conduct the first phase of operational testing (OT-1) aboard the Amphibious Assault Ship.

The jets arrived Monday evening to start the two-week testing period.

The testing will involve personnel from Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 22, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadrons 13 and 31.

OT-1 will assess the integration of the F-35B while operating across a wide array of flight and deck operations. Specific objectives include demonstrating and assessing day and night flight operations in varying aircraft configurations; digital interoperability of aircraft and ship systems; F-35B landing signal officer’s launch and recovery software; day and night weapons loading; and all aspects of maintenance, logistics, and sustainment support of the F-35B while deployed at sea.

Additionally, the Navy-Marine Corps team is working closely with Naval Sea Systems Command to assess specific modifications made to USS WASP to support future deployments.

“The F-35 Lightning II is the most versatile, agile and technologically-advanced aircraft in the skies today, enabling our Corps to be the nation’s force in readiness, regardless of the threat, and regardless of the location of the battle,” said Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, the Deputy Commandant for Marine Corps Aviation. “As we modernize our fixed-wing aviation assets for the future, the continued development and fielding of the short take-off and vertical landing, the F-35B remains the centerpiece of this effort.”

Data collected and lessons learned during OT-1 will lay the groundwork for F-35B deployments aboard U.S. Navy amphibious carriers following the Marine Corps’ F-35B initial operating capability declaration planned for this coming July.

1 Comment

  • Don Bacon

    U.S. Marines partner with United Kingdom in F-35B operational test

    the first phase of operational testing

    These “operational tests” are a PR stunt. Fourteen years in development and many more to go in this failed program.

    This bogus F-35B “operational testing” aboard the USS Wasp is a ruse to help declare these faulty pre-production prototypes “combat capable” in July. Title 10 USC § 2399 – Operational test and evaluation of defense acquisition programs

    “The Secretary of Defense shall provide that a covered major defense acquisition program or a covered designated major subprogram may not proceed beyond low-rate initial production until initial operational test and evaluation of the program or subprogram is completed. (currently Feb 2019 for F-35 according to SAR).” F-35 initial operational tests, postponed many times due to prolonged development, are currently scheduled to start January 2018.

    Title 10 U.S. Code, Section 139
    “There is a Director of Operational Test and Evaluation in the Department of Defense, appointed from civilian life by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.” The DOT&E director is currently Dr. Michael Gilmore, his appointment approved by the Senate. He says: “The [Wasp] flight operations will not be representative of combat operations. . . Maintenance activity will be limited. . .These limitations are not representative of deployed combat operations.” — Michael Gilmore, DOT&E, in congressional testimony.

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