Most lethal fighter in Navy history reaches the fleet

Published: Jan 22, 2017

Wheeling low over the San Joaquin Valley in a diamond formation, four Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters swooped onto the tarmac here Wednesday afternoon, ushering in a new era of Navy aviation and sending a signal to potential Asian adversaries that California now boasts some of the world’s most advanced and lethal jets.

Designed to land and take off on an aircraft carrier, the quartet of blunt nosed F-35C planes will form the core of the “Rough Raiders,” the recently reactivated Strike Fighter Squadron 125. As a designated fleet replacement squadron, it will train the next generation of F-35C aviators on the West Coast.