Landing on a carrier is the defining difference between the Tailhook Navy and the Air Force. It’s incredibly challenging, and requires consummate airmanship, every time. The utmost precision flying is required, often under far from optimum conditions, simply to conduct routine operations.
Early jet operations at sea had astonishingly bad safety records. The combination of straight carrier decks, the old style flat approach, and underpowered engines with very slow response time meant carrier aviators that embarked on a career could easily expect to see as many as one in four of their peers die in an operational accident.
The introduction of the angled deck and the mirror (later, Fresnel lens) optical landing system, combined with better engine performance, and the constant descent/angle of attack carrier approach greatly improved the safety record of fast jet carrier aviation. Even so, operational accidents are far too common, as is the loss of life associated with them.
Non aviators think that the rate of descent for a jet is controlled by pulling or pushing on the control stick. Nope. The pilot controls the rate of descent with the throttle. Speed is controlled by pushing or pulling the nose up or down.*
This counterintuitive method of flying takes an extraordinary amount of practice to master.
Magic Carpet, a series of software improvements to the flight controls and the Heads Up Display symbology in the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aim to eliminate this. Spill did a great series of posts on fly by wire technology. The thing about fly-by-wire is not so much that the commands are sent to the actuators via electrical signal, so much as that the flight control computer on board takes the input from the pilot, and interprets it as to what the pilot wishes to accomplish, and sends the appropriate command to the controls.
Reducing pilot workload makes for increased safety, and greater operational effectiveness.
The F-35C will have a similar capability built in from the beginning.
*This is a very, very gross oversimplification of the complexities of the carrier approach.