Lockheed Martin will provide a carrier variant of its F-35 aircraft for a joint training program of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy for pilots and seafarers.
The VFA-101 Grim Reapers Squadron is meant to help air and sea-based navigators at Eglin Air Force Base control, handle and maintain the F-35C, which is expected to attain initial operating capability in 2019, Lockheed said Wednesday.
The Grim Reapers Squadron was reconstituted at an Emerald Coast ceremony, where a modified F-35 was unveiled by the Navy and 33rd Fighter Wing.
Lorraine Martin, Lockheed executive vice president and general manager of the F-35 program, said the F-35C was developed to offer “the integration of advanced mission systems, stealth technology and supersonic capabilities.”
The aircraft is expected to enhance the ability of defense forces to reach their destinations as well as offer immediate response during military operations, Martin added.