Lockheed Martin recently delivered third F-35B Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL) Lightning II to U.K. which arrived at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Tuesday where it will be used for pilot and maintainer training.
"Today's arrival of BK-3 is the latest step in delivering the F-35's unprecedented capability to U.K. Defence," said Group Captain Harv Smyth, the UK's Joint Strike Fighter National Deputy. "With each passing day, our 'Lightning' program is maturing. In less than a year, we have taken ownership of our first three aircraft and begun both pilot and engineer training. The 'Lightning' truly represents a turning point for U.K.'s combat air capability and will dramatically increase our ability to defend national sovereignty interests and ensure security around the globe."
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems, headquartered in the U.K. The U.S. Marine Corps plans to declare Initial Operational Capability with the STOVL in 2015.
The program's more than 500 British suppliers will build 15 percent of each F-35 produced. U.K. industry is responsible for numerous F-35 components including the aft fuselage, fuel system and crew escape system. Key F-35 suppliers in the U.K. include BAE Systems, GE Aviation, Martin-Baker, SELEX, Cobham, Ultra Electronics, UTC Actuation Systems and Rolls-Royce.
Over the next 40 years, U.K.
will continue to play a vital role in the F-35's global production, follow-on development and sustainment, bringing strong economic benefits to the country and generating tens of thousands of jobs.
Under the recent testing and validation process (Development Testing II (DT-II) phase) of F-35Bs by Integrated Test Force (ITF) team members, two F-35B Lightning II jets touched down aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1). DT-II is the second of three test phases encompassing numerous milestone events including the first night operation at sea as well as the first launch and recovery of the F-35B at sea by a U
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