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Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters. The fifth-generation combat aircraft is designed to perform ground attack and air superiority missions. It has three main models: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, the F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant, and the F-35C carrier-based Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) variant. On 31 July 2015, the United States Marines declared ready for deployment the first squadron of F-35B fighters after intensive testing. On 2 August 2016, the U.S. Air Force declared its first squadron of F-35A fighters combat-ready.

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On April 2, 2013, USMC test pilot Maj. C.R. Clift completed the F-35B's first nighttime vertical landing, in order to gather data on the helmet and lighting conditions during nighttime operations. The F-35B variant is the STOVL (Short Take-Off Vertical Landing) variant being purchased for use by the US Marines to replace its aging fleet of F/A-18 Super Hornets (air superiority fighter), EA-6B Prowlers (electronic warfare aircraft), and A/V-8B Harriers (STOVL ground attack aircraft).

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