Advisor: Testing on F-35 not over yet
December 08, 2012 11:04 PM
Although Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and the U.S. Marine Corps have received the first three F-35B Lightning II's, it doesn't mean the new stealthy supersonic fifth generation fighters are going to be dropping bombs on enemy targets anytime soon.
Eric Van Camp, Lockheed Martin USMC F-35 Business Development Advisor, said during a recent webinar that while the delivery of the aircraft is one of the many milestones the program has achieved this year, there is still a lot of testing that needs to be done before the fighter is combat-ready.
“The Department of the Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps are going to have a fifth-generation aircraft and they are going to deploy them,” said Van Camp, a former Marine Corps aviator. “It goes where the Marines go. It is part of an unspoken contract between the Marines on the ground and the pilots who fly the planes.”
What this means essentially, Van Camp explained, is that now that the aircraft is ready to fly, the Marine Corps has begun using it, with the understanding that the capabilities of the aircraft would be rolled out and developed over time, such as weapons systems and advanced flight systems.