Posted by: mulrickillion | December 5, 2011

Defence Security Report – F-35C EMALS launch informs UK carrier work

12-3-2011 9-30-08 AM

The carrier-optimised F-35C is differentiated from the F-35A and F-35B variants by its larger wing surfaces and reinforced structure and landing gear.(IHS Jane’s/Patrick Allen).

By Richard Scott, Jane’s Defence News, 11/28/2011 —

A first launch of the Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Carrier Variant (CV) using the Electro Magnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) has been performed at a US test site to build confidence in F-35C/EMALS compatibility.

Test aircraft CF-3 performed a single launch from the General Atomics-built EMALS demonstrator system at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, on 18 November.

Aircraft CF-3 had previously been launched from the TC13-2 steam catapult at Lakehurst and the TC-7 steam catapult at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland. Jane’s understands that testing with EMALS was brought forward at the request of the UK as an early de-risking assessment to inform the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier Conversion Development Phase (CDP).

The UK had elected in 2002 to buy the F-35B short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) variant of JSF to meet its Joint Combat Aircraft requirement. However, the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review saw the UK switch horses, dropping the STOVL version and opting instead for the F-35C CV variant.

The carrier-optimised F-35C is differentiated from the F-35A and F-35B variants by its larger wing surfaces (to provide superior handling for carrier approaches) and reinforced structure and landing gear (to withstand catapult launches and deck-landing impacts). . . .

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