F-35B ready for world-wide deployment

F-35B ready for world-wide deployment 21 July, 2016

The US Marine Corps has issued a statement confirming that Marine Fighter Attack 121 (VMFA-121), the ‘Green Knights’ is the first squadron to become operational with the F-35B variant of the Lightning II.

“I am pleased to announce that VMFA-121 has achieved Initial Operational Capability in the F-35B,” said Gen. Joseph Dunford, Commandant of the Marine Corps.

“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. It is capable of conducting Close Air Support, Offensive and Defensive Counter Air, Air Interdiction, Assault Support Escort and Armed Reconnaissance as part of a Marine Air Ground Task Force, or in support of the Joint Force,” he added.

F-35Bs are the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) versions of the Lightning II aircraft, featuring the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem. This consists of a 50-inch diameter, two-stage counter-rotating LiftFan, capable of generating more than 20,000 lbf of thrust. It is driven from a conventional gas turbine and produces the forward vertical lift. A 3BSM is a swiveling jet pipe capable of redirecting the main engine thrust downward to provide the rear vertical lift. The jet pipe can rotate through 95 degrees in 2.5 seconds and passes 18,000 lbf of thrust. Aircraft roll control is achieved using the Roll Posts mounted in the wings of the aircraft, which provide a further 1,950 lbf of thrust each.

F-35B ready for world-wide deployment

Issue 86