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USMC Fighter Squadron To Be Redesignated for F-35

Nov. 16, 2012 - 01:59PM   |  
By AARON MEHTA   |   Comments
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The U.S. Marines will christen their first F-35B squad on Nov. 20, in what is being called a sign of “forward progress” with the most expensive military program in U.S. history.

The redesignation will occur at Yuma Air Force Base, Ariz. In a 1 p.m. ceremony, the Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 121 will officially be reborn as the Corps’ first operational F-35 squadron, the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121.

The F-35B is the short-takeoff, vertical-landing (STOVL) design, which comes equipped with a lift fan behind the cockpit capable of creating 18,000 pounds of thrust. It is the primary configuration that will be used by the Marines, who see the fifth-generation fighter as a replacement for the F/A-18 Hornet, AV-8B Harrier and EA-6B Prowler jets currently used.

The Air Force will purchase the F-35A variant, while the Navy is focused on the F-35C, which is designed for use on a carrier.

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