The U.S. Navy has entered the second phase of its F-35C aircraft carrier test program, evaluating the military jet in the rigorous offshore environment aboard USS Dwight D Eisenhower. Pilots and engineers will test the airplane and collect data for two weeks, flying off the aircraft carrier.
The at-sea developmental testing II (DT-II) will include day and night carrier qualifications, night operations with the generation III Helmet Mounted Display and F-35 Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) testing.
Technological advancements integrated into the F-35 include improved situational awareness, stealth capabilities, long-range identification and tracking, and the capability of identifying types of aircraft on a radar screen.
The F-35C team expects the airplane to enter service by late 2018. It will replace F/A-18C/D Hornets and will by 2025 work alongside the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, E-2D Hawkeye, carrier launched UAS, as well as various helicopters and logistics aircraft.