Saturday, October 30, 2010
F-35C Lightining II carrier variant with U.S.Navy colour's.
Latest Picture of F-35C Lightining II carrier variant with U.S.Navy colour's.
The F-35C carrier variant has a larger, folding wing with larger control surfaces for improved low-speed control, stronger landing gear for the stresses of carrier landings, and a hook for use with carrier arrestor cables. The larger wing area allows for decreased landing speed while increasing both range and payload. With twice the range on internal fuel as the F/A-18C Hornet, the F-35C achieves much the same goal as the heavier F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
The United States Navy will use the F-35C carrier variant. It intends to buy 480 F-35Cs to replace the F/A-18A, B, C, and D Hornets. The F-35C will also serve as a low-observable complement to the Super Hornet. On 27 June 2007, the carrier variant completed its Air System Critical Design Review (CDR). This allows the first two functional prototype F-35C units to be produced. The C variant is expected to be available beginning in 2014. The first F-35C was rolled out on 29 July 2009.
In October 2010 the United Kingdom decided to change its F-35B order to the F-35C. The Royal Navy's new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers are large enough to support non-STOVL operations and at least one will have catapults and arrestor cables installed to allow F-35C and allied naval aircraft operations. The number of F-35C aircraft to be procured has not been announced, although the stated plan is for the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy to operate a single variant.