BF-4 Arrives At Pax

Photo by Andy Wolfe

The first mission systems-equipped F-35 joined the fleet at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

Piloted by Lockheed Martin test pilot Dave “Doc” Nelson, the short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B known as BF-4 became the fourth F-35 to arrive and begin testing at the Naval Air Systems Command site.

The F-35’s avionics, or mission systems, enable the jet to perform a wide variety of missions by providing the pilot with unprecedented situational awareness – through the processing and fusion of data from both on-board and off-board sources. The F-35’s sensor suite makes it possible to collect vast amounts of information, and present the data on state-of-the-art cockpit and helmet displays. This allows the pilot to make faster and more effective tactical decisions and transfer information to other aircraft and to maritime and ground forces.

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