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British Ministryof_Defence_orders_first_batch_of_F_35B_LightningII_stealth_fighter

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World Aviation Defense & Security News - UK
 
 
British Ministry of Defence orders first batch of F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter aircraft
 
British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has reached an agreement in principle on an order for the first production batch of four Lightning II stealth combat aircraft.
     
British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has reached an agreement in principle on an order for the first production batch of four Lightning II stealth combat aircraft. The aircraft will operate from both the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers and RAF land bases.
     
It is expected that a formal contract for the F-35B aircraft will be in place within weeks. The contract will form part of the MOD’s investment in Lightning II over the next 5 years to procure an initial 14 of these multi-role fifth generation aircraft, together with the necessary support arrangements and infrastructure.

The UK has already taken delivery of three Lightning II aircraft, with another one due to be delivered in 2016. These are being used for testing and evaluation and are currently in the US. The UK’s first operational Squadron in the UK will be based at RAF Marham in Norfolk in 2018, which will become their Main Operating Base.

British Defence Secretary said:

"Today’s announcement is a major step forward. The Lightning II will equip the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force with a highly advanced multi-role stealth combat aircraft, operating from both our new Queen Elizabeth class carriers and land bases.

These aircraft will form part of the first UK-based squadron of F-35s, which will take up station at RAF Marham in 2018. This programme is also bringing substantial industrial benefits to the UK, providing thousands of skilled jobs in the UK aerospace industry
."