in Defence

F-35 jet cleared for Carrier take-off

Posted 17 October 2017 · Add Comment

The UK's F-35 fighter jet is now cleared for take-off from HMS Queen Elizabeth following successful trials using the ski-ramp design featured on the UK flagship.



Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin made the announcement at the House of Commons Defence Select Committee this afternoon.

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin (right) said: "Successful ski-ramp trials mean the F-35 is cleared to fly from the carrier as the momentum continues for this game-changing jet. This milestone comes as our pilots and planes prepare to return from the States, ready for next year’s unforgettable flight trials from the deck of the nation’s new flagship."

The UK currently has 12 F-35 jets out in the United States where they are being tested ahead of flight trials from the Royal Navy’s 65,000 tonne carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, next year. Two more aircraft are set to be delivered by the end of the year.

Amongst those to have graduated from that course are four pilots who started F-35 training straight from their advanced pilot training at RAF Valley, and Wing Commander John Butcher, who will be the Commanding Officer of the RAF’s new 617 squadron.

The new home of 617 squadron, RAF Marham, continues to build towards the arrival of the jets next year, moving a step closer earlier this month when the runway intersection resurfacing was completed. 617 Squadron will be the first operational British F-35 unit.



Also, last week the first F-35 flight with the latest software was conducted on one of the UK’s F-35Bs at Edwards Air Force Base in California. This software upgrade, technically known as Block 3F, represents the full warfighting capability the UK F-35s will have at Initial Operating Capability in December 2018.

UK industry will provide approximately 15% of the value of each F-35 to be built, more than 3,000, worth some £1 billon and generating around 25,000 British jobs. The programme remains on time, within costs and offers the best capability for our Armed Forces.


Find out about about the fifth generation F-35B Lightning and the important work of the Integrated Test Force
here .
 

 

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