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The Marines’ F-35B going to war in 2018

…The Marine Corps declared in July 2015 that the F-35B was ready to fly operations, but the plane still needs several improvements. Until it gets new software staring next year, it will be able to carry only AIM-120 missiles and certain laser- and GPS-guided bombs, said Jesse Sloman, an analyst for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments think tank in Washington. Even with those limitations, Sloman said he believes the F-35B is ready for combat and it will open a host of new options for the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. "The F-35B is lightyears ahead of the AV-8B Harrier and will provide Marine commanders with something entirely new--a low-observable platform capable of operating from an amphibious ship," he said…

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