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US F-35Cs qualify for carrier operations

25th June 2021 - 13:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London

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An F-35C Lightning II prepares to land on the flight deck of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). (Photo: USN/ Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Caden Richmond)

The US ‘most advanced carrier wing’ has been qualified for Carrier operations following four days of flight deck operations earlier this month.

Carrier Air Wing 2 (CVW-2), operating from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, is now ready for future deployments.

CVW-2 includes USN F-35Cs from Strike Fighter Squadron 147, which was selected as the first operational squadron to transition to the F-35C in early 2018.

The Lockheed Martin F-35C features a broader wingspan than other variants of the Joint Strike Fighter, and Shephard Defence Insight notes the aircraft has more robust landing gear designed to withstand the strain of carrier landings.

The aircraft also features folding wingtips.

CVW-2’s fixed-wing component also includes Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets, F/A-18Es and EA-18G Growlers, as well as the Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye airborne early warning and control aircraft.

The USN previously upgraded USS Carl Vinson to accommodate F-35C operations.

This story was updated on 25 June with a new picture.

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