Marine Corps

Exclusive: Up Close Look At World's Most Advanced Fighter Jet

MCAS Miramar is the only Marine base in the United States flying the F-35C and NBC 7 tagged along for a recent training exercise involving the high priced fighter jets

NBC Universal, Inc.

It's considered the most advanced fighter jet on the planet and if you look up, you may catch a glimpse of one flying over your backyard.

MCAS Miramar is home to the first and only marine squadron in the nation right now to be flying the F-35C, which is replacing the military’s F/A 18s.

NBC 7 recently got the chance to tag along for a marine corps training exercise held at the 29 Palms military base in Southern California’s desert, which involved a pair of the high tech jets estimated to cost around 100-million a piece.

The F-35's stealth capabilities are considered unprecedented in military aviation which makes them incredibly hard for enemies to detect.

However, Major Rober Ahern, one of the select few Marine Corps pilots qualified to fly the F-35C, says the planes sensors and systems, capable of diagnosing and solve problems quickly, are what separate it from any other aircraft.

Perhaps the best way to describe the jet is to compare it the Iron Man suit worn by Tony Stark in the fictional Marvel movies.

"Honestly, that's how I describe it to my 6-year-old son who runs around the house in an iron man suit all the time," said MAJ Ahern. "The helmet we have and the ability to project information day and night in the helmet and be able to cue weapons and cue sensors with your helmet and have that displayed to you, it's a massive increase in situational awareness."

MCAS Miramar currently has 10 F-35C's in operation with plans to add more in the coming years.

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