The Lockheed F-35 is an advanced stealth fifth generation fighter combining speed and superb agility. There are three variants; F-35A, B and C. The F-35A CTOL (Conventional Take Off and Landing) and has four internal weapons stations in two weapons bays plus three optional external weapons stations. The F-35B STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant while the F-35C is a CV (Carrier Variant). The F-35 will replace the USAF A-10 and F-16, the F/A-18 for the USN and the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the USMC.
The USMC plans to replace their F/A-18, AV-8B and EA-6B with the new Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II. On March 18, 2010 at Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland’s Integrated Test Force (ITF) from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 the first F-35B prototype BF-01 lifted off with the runway using less than 1000 feet and only 80 knots of speed. After 13 minutes of flight BF-01 used its 41,000 pounds of thrust to hover 150 feet above the ground and then slowly descend to a successful first vertical landing.