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The F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing Joint Strike Fighter has taken a step forward in its testing program today with the first landing onboard the USS Wasp, a Navy amphibious ship, in preparation for shipboard trials.The landing was confirmed by Joe DellaVedova, the F-35 Joint Program Office spokesman. New pics are expected to be released shortly and I will post when I get them.UPDATE: Here's the official release. photos: F-35 JPOA second F-35B is expected onboard within days; two aircraft were outfitted with monitoring equipment for this test period. A test phase will follow including roughly 67 vertical landings. Marine Corps officials will also explore how to operate the aircraft on the tight decks of these ships. This milestone comes on the most recently announced schedule, an accomplishment that officials are likely to underscore as lawmakers and Pentagon bean counters continue to comb through the program in search of budget cuts.Note: This blog entry was amended Oct. 4 to correct a misidentification of the ship.
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