The UK has taken delivery of its 14th F-35B Lightning II which flew into Beaufort, South Carolina, to take its place as part of the Lightning Fleet, set to operate from HMS Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales.
Operated jointly by the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, the F-35 Lightning jets will be able to operate on land or embarked on the UK’s new aircraft carriers.
The delivery is a significant milestone for the jet programme, coming shortly after the formal commissioning of HMS Queen Elizabeth into the Royal Navy.
Peter Ruddock, Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin UK said: “There are more than 500 UK companies in our supply chain who play a vital role in producing every F-35 and we are proud to have delivered the UK’s 14th aircraft on schedule.
“More than 260 F-35s are now flying from 14 bases around the world and we look forward to supporting the UK’s Lightning Force, as they prepare to bring their F-35s to the UK and achieve initial operational capability next year.”