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.
Lockheed Martin F-35C c/n CF-8 (USN Bu. No 168735) was the last test aircraft produced and performed its maiden flight on June 20, 2013 at NAS Fort Worth JRB (Joint Reserve Base). The aircraft was delivered to the USN on August 2, 2013 and in September was transferred on loan to the F-35 Integrated Test Force (ITF) at Edwards’ AFB VX-23 Squadron “Salty Dogs” serial ED-104. In August 2016 and still wearing ED-104 the aircraft was transferred to VX-9 “Vampires” also located at Edwards AFB.