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Navy and Marine Corps F-35 Purchase Plan Revealed

by John Reed on March 14, 2011

The Department of the Navy is finally revealing details about the mix of 680 F-35Cs and F-35Bs it intends to buy for the Navy and Marine Corps.

From Defense News:

The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps strike fighter picture will become clearer under an updated interservice agreement set to be signed March 14, according to a senior defense official.

The Tactical Air memorandum of understanding ratifies the Navy Department’s plan to buy 680 F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighters (JSF), and details the exact mix of variants and who will fly them. Of the total, 260 will be Navy F-35C carrier-based aircraft, 80 will be Marine F-35Cs, and 340 will be Marine F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (STOVL) planes.

This comes about a week after Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos revealed the service will purchase some F-35Cs, keeping the Corps big deck carrier presence alive.

The the agreement also stipulates that the Marines will only fly the C-model jets from big deck carriers, keeping the B-models on amphibious assault ships and land bases, according to the article. The first Navy F-35C squadron will stand up in 2015 with the first Marine F-35C squadron a year later.

Here are more details.

Well done, Chris Cavas.

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