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Marine Corps F-35Bs Showcase Lightning Carrier Concept Onboard USS Tripoli

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The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps recently showcased the concept of providing intelligence collection and strike capabilities using mostly F-35B Lightning II fighters from an amphibious assault carrier for the first time.

F-35B fighters conducted operational tests onboard the USS Tripoli in the Pacific Ocean during the demonstration of the lightning carrier concept from March 30th to April 8th, the Marine Corps said Monday.

The demonstration showed the ability of America-class assault carriers like Tripoli to field either two F-35B squadrons or a battalion-sized sized landing force and assault support aircraft depending on a fleet commander’s needs, explained Capt. Joel Lang, commanding officer of Tripoli.

With numerous F-35Bs onboard an aircraft carrier, combatant commanders gain not just the fighters’ strike capabilities but also the sensors that come with their avionics suite, added Lt. Col. Alexander Goodno, commanding officer of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 225.

The concept, which is part of a service effort to provide more creative options for naval leaders, is not expected to change the make-up of Amphibious Ready Groups and Marine Expeditionary Units.