ASTOVLAdvanced Short Take-Off & Vertical Landing Aircraft
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1996: The Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) program, started in 1994, is merged with DARPA's ASTOVL program to form the tri-service Joint Strike Fighter program.
The program, known as advanced STOVL (ASTOVL), has the ultimate objective of developing a replacement for the AV-8, F/A-18 and F-16 US aircraft and the Sea Harrier FRS2 in service with the UK Royal Navy.
The British do not use conventional aircraft carriers and are interested in ASTOVL designs as potential replacements for their current alI-STOVL, fixed-wing naval aviation fleet.