Members of the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 conducted the mass launch of twenty-one F-35B Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft on Nov. 24 at Beaufort Base.
“Pilots and students assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 conduct a max effort launch with 21 F-35B Lightning II aircraft aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort,” the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort’s release said.
The training allowed the unit to conduct a days-worth of flights in a single launch, according to a Marines news release.
The F-35B represents the future of Marine Corps tactical aviation and incorporates the mission capabilities of the current Marine Corps platforms it is replacing—the AV-8B Harrier, F/A-18 Hornet, and EA-6B Prowler—within a single airframe. In addition to its short takeoff and vertical landing capability, the F-35B’s unique combination of stealth, cutting-edge radar, sensor technology, and electronic warfare systems bring all of the access and lethality capabilities of a fifth-generation fighter, a modern bomber, and an adverse-weather, all-threat environment air support platform.
The F-35’s mission is to attack and destroy surface targets, intercept and destroy enemy aircraft, provide electronic warfare support, and network enabled reconnaissance support across the full spectrum of combat operations. It has an autonomous capability to strike a broad range of moving or fixed targets, either day or night and in adverse weather conditions.
These targets include air and ground threats, as well as enemy surface units at sea and anti-ship or land attack cruise missiles and it can complete the entire kill chain without reliance on external sources by using fused information from its onboard systems and/or other F-35s.
Lightning Storm ⚡ #Marines, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, recently conducted a max effort launch with 21 F-35Bs from @MCASBeaufortSC – allowing the unit to conduct a day’s worth of flights in a single launch. #MondayMotivation pic.twitter.com/BW0tzi49C4
— F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office (@theF35JPO) November 30, 2020