They have had years to have this stuff ready. How many times could we have fought WWII since 2001?
The modified F-35C test aircraft will conduct flight test at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., until facilities are ready for trials at Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst in New Jersey to conduct roll-in testing.
“It will be ready for planned testing when the facilities at Lakehurst are ready,” Siebert said.
“In the interim, expect checkout flights at Pax River this month.”
And then this theory...
Lockheed and the Joint Strike Fighter program office ultimately traced the problem back to the shape of the hook and a faulty wire dynamics model supplied by the Naval Air Systems Command.
Not really. The problem was not starting from a clean sheet of paper for a dedicated carrier aircraft design.
A and C F-35s are a prisoner of core F-35B STOVL requirements. Distance from the main gear to the hook; center of gravity and other STOVL buffoonery.
Least we forget.
Back in 2007, a Lockheed Martin year in review video stated that the F-35C carrier variant (CV) JSF had passed critical design review (CDR). The video and similar public statements said, "2007 saw the completion of the critical design review for the F-35C. The completion of CDR is a sign that each F-35 variant is mature and ready for production."
Yet, a November 2011 U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) quick-look report relating to engineering challenges arising from what is being called “concurrency issues” revealed that all eight run-in/rolling tests undertaken at NAS Lakehurst in August 2011 to see if the F-35C CV JSF could catch a wire with the tail hook have failed.
The report also mentions that the tail hook on the F-35C CV JSF is attached improperly to the aircraft. The distance from the hook to the main landing gear is so short that it is unlikely the aircraft will catch the landing wires on a ship's deck. This graphic from the review explains part of the problem. It illustrates the distance between the main landing gear and the tail hook of previous warplanes qualified to operate from aircraft carriers and compares these distances with that found on the F-35C CV JSF. In this regard, the report refers to the F-35C CV JSF as “an outlier”.
(click image to make larger)
Finally, the U.S. Navy continues with this worn meme theory:
Though publicly the Navy officials support the F-35C effort, many observers suspect that the service is less than fully supportive of the JSF program. However, the F-35C does have its backers—such as retired chief of naval operation Adm. Gary Roughead—who strongly supports the JSF variant because of the need to strike targets inside heavily defended airspace. Conventional non-stealthy designs are very vulnerable to the latest Russian and Chinese surface-to-air missile systems like the S-300 or S-400.