The next generation of Marine air power arrives - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

The next generation of Marine air power arrives

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It's taken more than a decade of testing and refining, but a new military fighter jet is now making its debut and this one sets the bar high.

The aircraft is called the F-35B. It's capable of taking off at supersonic speeds and landing like a helicopter.

The F-35B will be used by the Marines and it reached it's initial operational capability July 31, 2015 with a squadron of 10 aircraft. The F-35B will be taking over the duties of aircraft currently flown by the Marines. The F-35B will also replace the Harrier which is notorious for its ability to land vertically.

The F-35B is a variant, meaning it's a platform that other aircraft can be built from. The Air Force will receive their own version, called the F-35A and the Navy will receive a version called the F-35C. All 3 versions share 80% of the same parts.

The F-35B has a top speed of 1,199 MPH and a range of 1,379 miles. Each unit costs approximately $251 million.

The cost of the aircraft is expected to go down as more F-35 variants are built for the U.S. and for NATO forces.

Currently, the 10 aircraft that reached initial operational capability are stationed with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron based in Yuma, AZ but it won't be long before they arrived in San Diego.

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