Navy's newest plane, F-35C Joint Strike Fighter, lands successfully on carrier off San Diego

Associated Press

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 (http://bit.ly/1t8hYer ) two F-35Cs landed aboard the USS Nimitz about 40 miles off San Diego on Monday.

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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 testing of the fighters.

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.

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Information from: U-T San Diego, http://www.utsandiego.com