US Navy’s first Lockheed Martin F-35C training aircraft

Lockheed Martin has released a photo of the US Navy’s first operational (training) F-35C Joint Strike Fighter–Bureau Number 168733. The aircraft will be used for training at Eglin AFB, Florida, where it will serve with VFA-101, the “Grim Reapers”, once it is delivered later in the year. A previous incarnation of the unit had previously served as the Fleet Replenishment Squadron (FRS) for the Grumman F-14 Tomcat and McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II before being disestablished in 2005.

2013_CF6_Paint_00392PR_1269967624_4482.jpgUnlike most previous stealth aircraft–like the US Air Force’s Lockheed F-22 or other F-35 variants, this aircraft has color markings. A Lockheed spokeswoman says that the Navy requested the color scheme and that there is no operational impact on the jet as a result. Apparently, the Navy likes adding color to their jets.

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