in Defence

F-35B Lightnings set to deploy to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus

Posted 8 April 2019 · Add Comment

Britain’s new F-35B Lightning aircraft will depart their home station of RAF Marham in Norfolk later this year for Cyprus, in their first overseas deployment.


Courtesy MoD


Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "These formidable fighters are a national statement of our intent to protect ourselves and our allies from intensifying threats across the world.

"This deployment marks an important milestone in this game-changing aircraft’s journey to becoming fully operational."

Owned and operated by the RAF, the Lightning Force is jointly manned by both the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy. This deployment will allow personnel from both services to gain vital experience in maintaining and flying the aircraft in an unfamiliar environment.

The deployment will also train and test all aspects of moving this aircraft to a new location, including logistics, maintenance, and sustainment of all the equipment and crew that comes with this impressive aircraft.

The Lightning, as the aircraft is known in the UK, is the first to combine radar-evading stealth technology with supersonic speeds and the ability to conduct short take-offs and vertical landings. With the ability to operate from land and sea, the F-35 forms a vital part of delivering a ‘carrier strike’ capability to the UK when combined with Britain’s new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said: "It is great to see 617 Squadron, the modern day Dambusters, flying the most advanced and dynamic fighter jet in the UK’s history and about to start their first overseas deployment.

"I have no doubt that this short deployment will offer many tests, but likewise I am confident that our highly trained and skilled personnel will rise to the challenge and confirm our ability to deliver truly formidable capability."

Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC DL Royal Navy, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff said: "This first overseas deployment of these world-beating British F-35B aircraft to RAF Akrotiri, together with their embarkation in HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time in the Autumn of this year, are important milestones to prove their readiness for deployed operations anywhere in the world in defence of our national interests."

The UK currently owns 17 F-35B aircraft with the reformed 617 Sqn having arrived back in the UK last year, with RAF Voyager aircraft providing air-to-air refuelling on their trans-Atlantic journey. More jets are due in Britain over the coming years, and there is an overall plan to procure 138 aircraft over the life of the Programme.

The F-35 is the world’s largest defence programme at over $1.3 trillion, with UK industry providing 15% by value of every one of over 3,000 jets set for the global order book. That makes the economic impact greater than if we were building 100% of all 138 aircraft which we intend to buy.

The programme has already generated $12.9 billion worth of orders and at peak production will support thousands of British manufacturing and engineering jobs.

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

USAF Academy selects Merlin flight simulators

The USAF Academy, Colorado, have ordered four new simulators for their teaching facility from the Merlin Flight Simulation Group in the UK.

SAMI acquires AEC

Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) has announced the signing of a Term Sheet Agreement to acquire 100% ownership in Advanced Electronics Company (AEC), which took place at a Saudi Arabia–UK industry event in London in the

Royal Thai Air Force is first international T56 upgrade customer

The Royal Thai Air Force has become the first international customer to update its C-130H transport fleet with the Rolls-Royce T56 Series 3.5 engine upgrade.

BAE Systems launches Hunter Class prototyping phase bid process

BAE Systems Australia is today launching the process to bid for work on the Hunter Class Frigate Programme’s prototyping phase.

Cobham wins Airbus innovation award

Last week at the Paris Air Show, Cobham Aerospace Communications Dourdan was presented with an innovation award by Airbus Helicopters, for their integrated antenna technology.

Edinburgh Airport has its busiest May

A total of 1,381,187 passengers travelled through Edinburgh Airport last month making it the busiest May on record.

ODU 0201311219
See us at
VIDSE BT1605060320ADSS1000DBT1706171019SMI ActiveP BT1206121119DSEI JP BT1605201119SMI GMS BT1906071119SMI FAV BT1006141119