Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin

Service: USMC

Armament: 2x AIM-120C air-to-air missiles; 2x 1,000-pound GBU-32 JDAM guided bombs

Propulsion: F135-PW-600

Speed: Mach 1.6 (1,200 mph)

Range: 900 nm

The F-35B Lightning II is the Marine Corps variant of the Joint Strike Fighter and features a vertical lift fan and pivoting engine nozzle to deliver vertical landing and short takeoff capability to expeditionary airfields. The F-35 will replace AV-8B Harrier IIs in the Marine Corps inventory.

Designed to operate from austere bases and a range of air-capable ships with its short takeoff/vertical landing capability, the F-35B can also takeoff and land conventionally from longer runways on major bases. F-35B aircraft have been delivered to the U.S. Marines and the U.K., whose forces are training together at the Integrated Training Center at Eglin Air Force Base. STOVL aircraft are also stationed at the first operational F-35 base, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., and are completing flight test at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The Italian Air Force will also operate the B-variant. The F-35B has a Lift Fan just behind the cockpit and an engine that can swivel 90 degrees when in short takeoff/vertical landing mode. Because of the Lift Fan, the STOVL variant has smaller internal weapon bay and less internal fuel capacity than the F-35A. It uses the probe and drogue method of aerial refueling.