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U.S. Navy F-35 jet makes first night flight as sea tests near end

Reuters // November 13, 2014

The U.S. Navy version of Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 fighter jet made its first night flight off an aircraft carrier on Thursday as it neared the end of two weeks of sea-based testing aboard the USS Nimitz, Navy and Pentagon officials said.

Two F-35 C-model jets on board the carrier have already met 95 percent of the requirements for the first of three rounds of sea-based tests, proving to be more reliable and performing better than expected, Navy test pilots told reporters.

By midday Thursday, the jets had carried out over 101 catapult launches from the carrier, 214 planned "touch and go" landings, and 104 arrested landings using a redesigned tailhook, according to the F-35 program office.

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