NAS PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has ushered the F-35B out of the penalty box, after the short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (Stovl) version of the stealthy fighter was sidelined for poor performance for more than a year by prior Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Standing in a hangar in front of BF-4, one of two F-35Bs to conduct testing on the USS Wasp amphibious ship last fall, Panetta spoke to a small audience of government and industry workers on the Joint Strike ...
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