This is just the first workout of the F-35 on the boat. For now, the testing is on best case launch and recovery. Later, they’ll explore the worst case, making it tougher and tougher.
Say what you will about the F-35 development program, but here’s something interesting. The C model will carry an astonishing 20,000 pounds of internal fuel. By way of contrast, the A-6 had an internal capacity of about 15,000 pounds.