Royal Air Force Base Marham welcomed two Lightning (F-35B) stealth fighters, as they touched down at their designated home base station.
With the assistance of a Voyager air-to-air refueling tanker from RAF Brize Norton, two newly acquired Lightning (F-35B) stealth fighters, completed their journey from Fort Worth, Texas, the manufacturing hub for all F-35s.
A $204.6M contract was unveiled in April, revealing that Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems would take charge of the maintenance and support for the UK’s fleet of F-35 Lightning fighter jets.
In Royal Air Force service, the F-35 flies alongside the Typhoon, providing the UK with a stealthy platform for air-to-surface, electronic warfare, intelligence gathering, and air-to-air missions.
Its stealth capabilities allow it to operate undetected in hostile airspace, while its integrated sensors, sensor fusion, and data linking provide enhanced situational awareness for the pilot.
With short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) capability, the Lightning can operate from the new ‘Queen Elizabeth’-class aircraft carriers and the vessels of allied nations, as well as short airstrips.
According to a statement by Lockheed Martin, the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy have plans to operate a fleet of 138 F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing aircraft. At present, the UK possesses a combined total of 32 of these fifth-generation fighter jets.