F-35B cleared for car­rier op­er­a­tions

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - Aviation Defence & In India -

The F-35B short take-off and ver­ti­cal land­ing (STOVL) fighter has been cleared to use the ‘ski jump’ ramp fit­ted to the flight deck of the Royal Navy’s two new air­craft car­ri­ers, fol­low­ing a se­ries of tests at Naval Air Sta­tion Patux­ent River, Mary­land. The Pen­tagon has also an­nounced that Lock­heed Martin has been awarded an $11.56m de­liv­ery or­der to pro­vide sup­port for firstof-class fly­ing tri­als and the re­lease of the mil­i­tary per­mit to fly for F-35B air­craft to op­er­ate from the Queen El­iz­a­beth- class car­ri­ers. As of mid-Oc­to­ber, the UK had 12 F-35Bs in the US, build­ing the UK Force ahead of tri­als aboard the car­rier HMS Queen El­iz­a­beth next year. Two more Light­ning IIs were due to be de­liv­ered by the end of the year. There are 150 Bri­tish per­son­nel work­ing on the Light­ning II pro­gramme in the US, and the F-35 in­te­grated Test Force in­cludes five Bri­tish pi­lots.

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