F-35C Lightning II aircraft undergoes testing on carrier USS Abraham Lincoln

WASHINGTON. The U.S. Navy reports that F-35C Lightning II aircraft from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 are conducting their Operational Test-1 (OT-1) with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 and Carrier Strike Group 12 aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), currently underway in the Atlantic Ocean.

OT-1 evaluates the full spectrum of the F-35C’s suitability for operation within a carrier air wing and examines its mission effectiveness to the fullest extent possible.

Navy officials state that the F-35C can pass on the information it collects not only to other F-35s in the air, but to legacy aircraft, carrier air wings, strike groups, and ground troops, thereby enhancing the warfighting potential of the fleet. During the OT-1, evaluators assess the suitability of the F-35C aboard carriers by defining how well it performs with other aircraft and incorporates into an air plan, monitoring maintenance, and identifying its logistics footprint.

“The F-35C brings stealth, enhanced electronic capabilities, and a different sustainment model,” said Rear Adm. Dale Horan, director, Joint Strike Fighter Fleet Integration Office. “Operating this new generation of aircraft out on the aircraft carrier brings a different set of tools, techniques, and procedures, and we’re learning how to integrate them into the battle group.”

An F-35C Lightning II assigned to the Rough Raiders of Strike Fighter Squadron 125 lands on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Abraham Lincoln is currently underway conducting carrier qualifications. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Maxwell Anderson/Released)