The next three F-35B Lightning II short take-off and vertical landing aircraft departed the Lockheed Martin production facility recently to the United Kingdom.
In a release Friday, Air Officer Commanding No 1 Group, Royal Air Force, Allan Marshall said the new stealth fighter jets to increases the British fleet to 21 F-35s.
“Looking forward to their arrival in the UK over the coming days,” the message added.
According to Britain’s Royal Air Force website, the F-35B Lightning combat aircraft currently operates alongside the Typhoon. A multi-role machine, Lightning is capable of conducting air-to-surface, electronic warfare, intelligence gathering and air-to-air missions simultaneously.
The fifth-generation fighter jet combines advanced sensors and mission systems with low observable technology, or ‘stealth’, which enables it to operate undetected in hostile airspace. Its integrated sensors, sensor fusion and data linking provide the pilot with unprecedented situational awareness. The pilot is able to share information gathered by the jet with other platforms using secure data links, and/or use the information to employ weapons or electronic means.
The Lightning’s short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) capability allow it to operate from the new ‘Queen Elizabeth’-class aircraft carriers and the vessels of allied nations, as well as short airstrips.
Our next 3 F-35B Lightning II aircraft have departed the @LockheedMartin factory flown by pilots from @OC617Sqn and @OC207Sqn. This increases the UK fleet to 21 F-35s thanks to @DefenceES @theF35JPO and many others. Looking forward to their arrival in the UK over the coming days. pic.twitter.com/BkpkV30fhP
— AOC 1 Gp (@AlMarshallRAF) November 27, 2020