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 carrier variant of the F-35 is the F-35C Lightning II designed for the USN to be the first stealth fighter and long-range strike fighter. The first Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) F-35C is an early built aircraft BuNo. 168843 c/n CF12 delivered in 2014 and was originally assigned to the first USN F-35 training unit, VFA-101 “Grim Reapers”. The NAWDC also includes the “Top Gun” school. The first F-35C for the NAWDC’s arrived at NAS Fallon, Nevada on July 30, 2020 displaying the lightning bolt flash and Top Gun badge.