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Military

Navy Completes First F-35C Carrier Landings Off San Diego Coast

Brett Cote
The F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter conducts its first arrested landing aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego, November 3, 2014.

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 two F-35Cs landed aboard the USS Nimitz about 40 miles off San Diego on Monday.

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.

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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.