Three Variants for Three Services

The Marine Corps currently flies the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant, with plans to purchase 353 STOVL jets and 67 F-35C carrier variant aircraft. The U.S. Marine Corps declared F-35B IOC in July 2015. 

Program Stats

  • Aircraft Variant: F-35B / F-35C
  • Program of Record: 353 F-35Bs / 67 F-35Cs
  • Aircraft Delivered: 65 F-35Bs / 7 F-35Cs
  • Flight Hours: 38,000+
  • Pilots Trained: 133
  • Maintainers Training: 1,882

Base Locations

  • MCAS Beaufort
  • MCAS Yuma
  • Edwards AFB, VMX-1 Test Squadron

Program Milestones 

  • 2011: BF-2 successfully executed a vertical landing on the deck of the USS WASP.
  • 2012: F-35B First Aircraft Arrival to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 ‘Green Knights’, at MCAS Yuma, Arizona
  • 2013: USMC conducted first operational F-35B vertical landing
  • 2014: The first F-35B assigned to VMFAT-501 arrived at USMC Air Station Beaufort
  • 2015: U.S. Marine Corps’ declare initial operational capability (IOC) for its fleet of F-35Bs
  • 2017: USMC team completes developmental test phase, known as DT-III
  • 2018: USMC F-35B joint strike fighter successfully conducts its first combat mission over Afghanistan

Together with the Marines, the U.S. Navy will bring 5th Generation capability to the sea with 260 F-35C jets. The U.S. Navy plans to declare F-35C IOC in 2018. 

Program Stats

  • Aircraft Variant: F-35C
  • Program of Record: 273 Aircraft
  • Aircraft Delivered: 34
  • Flight Hours: 20,000+
  • Pilots Trained: 90+
  • Maintainers Training: 1,000+

Base Locations

  • NAS PAX River
  • NAS Lemoore
  • Edwards AFB
  • Eglin AFB

Program Milestones 

  • 2010: F-35C Takes its First Flight (Fort Worth, Texas) 
  • 2013: U.S. Navy Receives First F-35C (Eglin Air Force Base)
  • 2013: Navy Stands Up VFA-101 Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base
  • 2014: Cmdr. Tony “Brick” Wilson Performs First Aircraft Carrier F-35C Trap (USS Nimitz)
  • 2016: F-35C Team completes DT-III Sea Trials, marking completion of At-Sea SDD Testing
    (USS Washington)
  • 2017: F-35Cs Arrive at Naval Air Station Lemoore
  • 2018: VFA-125 Rough Raiders Conduct F-35C Operational Test-1 (USS Lincoln)
  • 2018: Navy Stands Up Joint Strike Fighter Wing to Oversee F-35C Operations, Training, Manning
  • 2018: VFA-147 Argonauts declare Safe For Flight