After sensibly postponing the trip for 24 hours due to bad weather, yesterday the first four UK-owned F-35Bs touched down at RAF Marham after a trans-Atlantic flight from the United States. Despite the postponement, the jets have arrived two months ahead of the original schedule and those involved in the programme deserve to be congratulated. These aircraft of 617 Squadron will form part of the initial main armament for the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers and will be the cornerstone of the UK carrier strike capability. The MoD has provided some outstanding imagery and video which tells the story of their arrival.
As part of ‘project Anvil’, around £550m has been invested in RAF Marham to get the base ready for the F-35. The base has seen an upgrade in facilities, resurfaced runways and the addition of new landing pads to accommodate the jet’s ability to land vertically.
“Ever since aircraft first operated to and from ships, the Royal Navy has been at the forefront of maritime aviation and the arrival of our first F35Bs in the UK today, flown by both RAF and Fleet Air Arm pilots, is another important milestone on the way to restoring our place as leaders in the field of aircraft carrier operations.” First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones
Commander UK Carrier Strike Group, Cdre Andrew Betton speaks about F-35B arrival in UK.