The UK Royal Air Force has received the combat-ready F-35A Lightning II multirole fighter aircraft at its base in Lakenheath, UK.
Arrival of F-35A fighter jets demonstrates the US’s commitment to Nato allies and European territorial integrity.
Nato Europe supreme allied commander army general Curtis M Scaparrotti said: “The forward presence of F-35s supports my priority of having ready and postured forces here in Europe.
“These aircraft, plus more importantly, the men and women who operate them, fortifies the capacity and capability of our Nato alliance.”
Deployed from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, US, the F-35 fleet will train with European-based allies.
F-35A will also forward-deploy to optimise training opportunities, boost the Nato alliance and gain a stronger familiarity of Europe’s diverse operating conditions.
US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) and Air Forces Africa commander general Tod D Wolters said: “This is an incredible opportunity for (USAFE) Airmen and our Nato allies to host this first overseas training deployment of the F-35A aircraft.
“As we and our joint F-35 partners bring this aircraft into our inventories, it’s important that we train together to integrate into a seamless team capable of defending the sovereignty of allied nations.”
Fifth-generation fighter jets add advanced sensors, interoperability and a wide array of latest air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions that will help maintain the fundamental territorial and air sovereignty rights of all countries.
F-35A Lightning II aircraft has been designed to offer precision-attack capability against current and emerging threats with accuracy, survivability and interoperability.
Deployment of the US fleet at the Royal Air Force base was supported by the Air Mobility Command.
Image: F-35A Lightning II fighter jets fly from the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, US. Photo: courtesy of Air Force photo / R Nial Bradshaw.