Training Synergies for the Lockheed F-35B

ROBBIN LAIRD  –  Jul 13, 2016

It can be easy to overlook how revolutionary a vertical lift aircraft that can operate at supersonic speeds actually is.

The F-35B does not need a long runway to recover, and this makes it a much more survivable platform – especially at sea where options are limited.

It will be a staple for the US Marine Corps and the RAF, and will also be flown by the Italian Navy. A number of other Air Forces have shown interest in the F-35B as well, including Israel, Singapore, Japan, and Spain.

The plane can operate in a wide variety of locations, which provides operational advantage over aircraft that must operate off of conventional air fields.

Pilot training is common in many respects, as Colonel Novotny, the 48th Wing Commander at RAF Lakenheath recently highlighted:

"There is great synergy and opportunity to learn from each other. We’re talking about exchange opportunities across the logistics enterprise, and among the pilots as well. If you can fly the A you can fly the B and vice versa; it is an adjustment, not a whole new training process. We are looking to have RAF pilots flying USAF jets and vice versa."

This forecast is coming true, and so, the F-35 arrival might be leveraged differently. After all, it's about the need to rapidly upsurge capability in a challenging situation.