SAN DIEGO – The Navy has completed the first two landings of F-35C Joint Strike Fighters on an aircraft carrier — a milestone for the new plane.
U-T San Diego reports that two F-35Cs landed aboard the USS Nimitz about 40 miles off San Diego on Monday.
The newspaper says both jets caught the "three wire" — the third of four cables stretched across the deck, considered a bulls-eye in Navy flying.
It was the first of 14 days of fighter testing.
The aircraft-carrier phase marks a key step for the overall F-35 program, which has suffered cost overruns and delays because of engine problems, computer-software troubles and other issues.
Other versions of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.'s F-35 are designed for conventional takeoff and landing, and short takeoff and vertical landing.