Marine Corps’ F-35B fighter jet conducts first vertical takeoff

The F-35B fighter jet — the U.S. Marine Corps version of the new multi-service F-35 Lightning II — recently completed its first-ever vertical takeoff.

F-35B JSF fighter

F-35B JSF fighter

The test took place May 10 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin announced May 20. Vertical takeoffs are one of the capabilities required to field the F-35B, which is also designed to take off on short runways and land vertically, the company noted.

The F-35, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, is intended to be “stealthy” or nearly undetectable by enemy radar.