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U.S. Navy’s F-35 Test to Include New Helmet, Full Weapons Load

Reuters // September 24, 2015

The U.S. Navy's next round of carrier testing of the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35C stealth fighter jet will include new helmets and jets fully loaded with internal weapons, a company official told Reuters.

During the tests, scheduled for the first two weeks of October, two F-35s will also test the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS), an all-weather, GPS-guided landing system being designed by Raytheon Co (RTN.N), Lockheed's F-35 program manager, Lorraine Martin, said in an interview. She spoke after a ceremony for the rollout of the first of the 52 F-35s that Norway will buy.

Martin said the second round of testing is a milestone for the jet, which has wider wings than Air Force and Marine Corps versions, holds more fuel, and is designed to be catapulted off the deck of an aircraft carrier, and then land, using a special hook and heavy arresting gear.

"We're really pleased with the momentum that we've got with the Navy," she said. "If you talk to the Navy's aviators, they know the aircraft has incredible importance for their ability to do what they need to do from the ship around the world."

Lockheed is building three models of the supersonic jet for the U.S. military and nine other countries: Britain, Australia, Norway, Italy, Turkey, the Netherlands, Israel, Japan and South Korea. Denmark and Canada are also considering orders.

Read the full article from Reuters.