The UK MOD has taken delivery of its first Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, known in UK service as the Lightning II.

The initial Lightning II deliveries will be utilised in the role of Operational Test in the United States.


  • Engines: Pratt & Whitney F-135-600
  • Thrust: 40,000lbs
  • Max speed: 1.6Mach
  • Length: 15.6m
  • Max altitude: 50,000ft
  • Span: 10.7m
  • Aircrew: 1
  • Armament: Paveway IV, AMRAAM, ASRAAM


This 5th Generation STOVL Multi-Role supersonic stealth aircraft will provide the UK with a hugely capable and flexible weapons and sensor platform for decades to come.

Designed to operate from established land bases, austere strips and the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, the Lightning will join the Typhoon FGR4 in providing the Combat Air component of UK defence from 2018.

The UKhas taken delivery of 9 Lightning aircraft to date which together with a numberof military personnel, are stationed in the USA. In the early part 2018, 617Squadron will reform and will be the first RAF Squadron to be equipped withLightning aircraft . The Squadron will return to the UK towards the endof the summer and will be based at RAF Marham in Norfolk. The OperationalConversion Unit will remain in the USA until 2019 when it will then return tothe UK and join 617 Squadron at RAF Marham


Combat Aircraft


Typhoon Aircraft

A multi-role combat aircraft, capable of being deployed in the full spectrum of air operations.

Lightning II

Aircraft: F35 (Joint Strike Fighter)

The UK MOD has taken delivery of its first Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.


13Sqn's Tornado.

The Tornado GR4 is a variable geometry, two-seat, day or night, all-weather attack aircraft.

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