ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 3, 2011) An F-35B Lightning II makes the first vertical landing on a flight deck at sea aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1). The F-35B is the Marine Corps Joint Strike Force variant of the Joint Strike Fighter and is designed for short takeoff and vertical landing on Navy amphibious ships. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Seaman Natasha R. Chalk/Released)
TUCSON, Ariz. - The United States Air Force will soon hold a competition to see if the F-35 is a viable option to replace the aging A-10 Warthog.
Now the Navy's version of the F-35 is showing its versatility, making an historic landing at sea.
In a release, the Navy said a detachment of F-35B Lightning II's landed aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp March 5.
That marks the first time the aircraft has deployed aboard a U.S. Navy ship and with a Marine Expeditionary Unit in the Indo-Pacific.
The Navy said the F-35B will aid the Expeditionary Strike Group in a routine patrol to strengthen regional alliances and provide rapid-response capabilities.
Congress is resisting Air Force efforts to retire the A-10 to make room in the budget for more F-35s.