After many problems and delays the F-35 joint strike fighter from the US Marines achieved the initial operational capability (IOC). The qualification indicates that the F-35B, assigned to Marine Corps, can carry out military operations in the same way that the rest of the fleet planes.
The announcement was made by Gen. Dunford, on July 31. The VMFA-121 with F-35B is fully operational and consists of ten aircrafts. The total number of planes of the Marines will be 420, and consists of a combination of 340 B and 80 C planes. Interestingly, the first squadron will be deployed in 2017 to Iwakuni, a Japanese city in Yamaguchi prefecture.
It was reported that the planes will be further improved by adding new software which may affect the plane’gun performance and sensors.