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Wonderful to see. Huge credit to all involved. I am very relieved and thrilled to see it all coming together. Carrier strike will be an extremely powerful capability. T-45 & Aster, T-23/6 & Sea Ceptor, F-35 with Meteor / SPEAR, Astute with Tomahawk, Merlin & P-8. Plus RFA. That really takes some beating. Now, about the numbers of those very capable platforms. The only ones we have enough of are QEs.


Who man’s it?

David Billinge

For a while though the F-35 will reach IOC with AMRAAM SRAAM & LGB capability Meteor and spear will not be imeadatley available SPEAR capability is part of Block 4 pro ally 2025 Meteor will begin on Typhoon 2018 Lightning from 2024 plus slippage the tail fins are to tall and need to be re configured to be carried in the Lightnings internal weapons bay


Apparently the Meteor fins are already designed, they’ll need a test campaign of launches but the modifications are fairly trivial. The flight software upgrades are more important.

Meteor and Spear should arrive in 2024. But they’re still dependent on the Block 4 definition.


Awesome to see, that is. Some cracking photography – those F-35’s look sleek and mean! Cant wait to see them in action and operating from our carriers!

Lord Curzon

That photo of everyone with Lt Cdr Hogg is wonderful and will pass into the annals of history.


I bet the MOD lawyers are checking the small print to see how many they can cancel!


Is this fabulous or what!

Michael Watson

Great news, at last F35’s on UK soil.
We need more of these fantastic planes.

Great Pretender

Great photos, good forward movement.

Does anyone know why they wouldn’t fly with drop tanks for this transfer?

Ian Willis

Very sleek and menacing looking aircraft.

No more jokes about carriers without aircraft once 617 Sq are ready.


Has there been any word on what went wrong with the 5th F-35? The BBC reported that it returned to South Carolina after taking on fuel. The formation would have looked so much better with 5 birds.

Iqbal Ahmed

It’s good that we finally have some of the aircraft.

How come Norway and Israel and the like received their aircraft before us? I thought we were BFFs (Best Friends Forever) with the US?

Also, are we getting the software source codes from the US? Without these we wouldn’t have sovereign control eg. weapons integration to radar to flight dynamics, over these aircraft. Only Israel has permission to customise it’s F-35s with the source codes. We are like the Middle East countries, which the US can constrain the use of their aircraft through technological control like this.

I thought we were a ‘global power’? What’s the point of being a poodle without our own foreign policy being hitched to the US wagon, if you can’t get the goods in exchange for services rendered?

David Graham

David Graham:

Norway and the IDF have F-35As. This version of the aircraft is much closer to maturity that either the B [so far only delivered to the UK and USMC] or the C [delivered only to the USN]. It’s simply a matter of production numbers and testing.

If one reads the various Defence Evaluation and Testing reports to Congress, one can get a proper handle on where and how things within the F-35 family are progressing.

Iqbal Ahmed

If a country flying the F35 has a spat with the united states, they can ground their entire fleet of F35s from Washingtion. The F35 also sends a full sensor and mission information to the Pentagon every time it flies. If Norways flies their F35 over a field in Finland, the United States will know about it before the pilot gets home for dinner.

The only exception is Israel. Their F35I’s dont have the spyware, and dont talk to the pentagon or Lockheed.

Ian Willis

Interesting points. Managing the ALIS system gives the US an inordinate amount of control over F-35s of it’s Allies. It’s worrying to think what might happen to UK sovereign military decisions if the US disagrees with them. Same with Trident, we need the Americans to maintain and update the missiles.


Errr…we’ve had F-35 for years now. Way before Norway and Israel. Second only to the US.

They’ve been in the US training up. We’re far further forward than either of those nations are.


The fifth aircraft was an airborne spare and returned once it was established there were no issues. There was only ever 4 coming in this wave

Evan P

Why does the leading F35 in the top photo have all of those grey markings and patterns on the fuselage while the other 3 do not?

Dave T

I was wondering the same thing about the different markings on one of the planes would love to know the answer? Anyone?


It has the older coating of the low observeable paint, the others have a newer version which is lest maitenance intensive

Dave Billinge

The difference in the paint schemes is that the three that are the same have a newer scheme and I am sure when it next goes into deep maintenance it will appear in the new scheme


Really 4 new jets and we are setting ourselves. Which software fit ? Is it one that works?

Bobs Baradur

Windows For Warplanes 10, it mostly works.
Make sure to turn “Check for Updates” off before flying.