Naval Air Station Patuxent River
F-35B and F-35C Testing
Both the F-35B Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant and F-35C carrier variant are tested at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.
The F-35 Lightning II Pax River Integrated Test Force (ITF) Naval Variants test program based at Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 aboard NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, continues to grow and accelerate since beginning operations in 2010.
The Pax River ITF's diverse cadre of technicians, maintainers, engineers, support staff and test pilots from the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, U.K. Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, and industry partners, have tested the F-35B STOVL variant and the F-35C carrier variant aboard NAS Patuxent River; along the Atlantic Test Ranges; and at the McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida for climatic chamber testing.
In addition, the team has performed a variety of tests aboard a broad array of amphibious assault ships and aircraft carriers, including USS Wasp (LHD 1) and USS America (LHA 6) for F-35B ship trials; Marine Corps operational testing, and Proof of Concept demonstrations; and USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), and USS George Washington (CVN 73) for F-35C sea trials.
NAS Patuxent River is home to Naval Air Systems Command.