See How the US Marine Corps is Altering the Future of Naval Warfare in This 30 Second Clip
Earlier this month, the Navy and Marines made history by deploying F-35B jets aboard the USS Wasp, marking the first instance of the aircraft being placed on a carrier. The “historic deployment” was made possible after the smaller-deck aircraft carrier was modified to field the F-35Bs, potentially changing the face of Naval warfare well into the future.
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A video clip shows the first time the Joint Strike Fighter successfully landed on the USS Wasp, currently located in the Pacific, a feat made possible thanks to the F-35B’s ability to accommodate short takeoffs and vertical landing options.
The massive tail fan on the aircraft, which took a significant amount of time to develop, provided the jet with the needed capabilities.
“This is a historic deployment,” said 31s MEU Commanding Officer Col. Tye R. Wallace. “The F-35B is the most capable aircraft ever to support a Marine rifleman on the ground.”
An F-35B is able to take off while in full stealth mode, lowering the chances of detection, can carry a substantial number of heavy bombs, and has updated sensor and communications technology to guide missiles fired from ships to ensure they reach their target, according to a report by Business Insider.
A gun can also be equipped on the aircraft, providing it with additional options in regards to firepower.
“You’re about to put for the first time ever fifth-generation fighters on a ship at sea and put it into a highly contested area that is fraught with geopolitical risk and controversy and tensions,” said former F-35B squadron commander retired US Marine Corps Lt. Col. David Berke.
“The implications of a fifth-generation airplane being in [the Pacific] is impossible to overstate,” Berke added. “They’re going to provide capability that nobody knows exists yet.”
Milestone for #NavyTheNationNeeds with a historic first: #F35B lands on #USSWasp, launching era of increased #USNavy–@USMC sea-based capabilities in Indo–Asian-Pacific – https://t.co/ba1ajyAZTQ pic.twitter.com/WMmSPHtMv5
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) March 5, 2018
The F-35B will eventually make its way onto other carriers, including larger vessels than the USS Wasp.