F-35B put to the test

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World naval developments March 2019

By Norman Friedman*

At the end of February, the amphibious carrier Essexreturned from the first combat deployment of the F-35B, the vertical take-off version of the Joint Strike Fighter. The F-35B is replacing the Marines’ venerable AV-8B Harriers. The deployment tested the ability to maintain these much more complex airplanes at sea, and also their very different tactical capabilities. 

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