Squadron Leader Jim Schofield RAF performs the first short takeoff at sea in a F-35B aircraft from the USS Wasp (photo Todd R McQueen, Lockheed Martin)
12 September 2013 Ministry of Defence and Defence Equipment and Support
UK military pilots have been involved in the second round of vertical night landings at sea of the new F-35B Lightning II fighter aircraft.
The pilots, along with UK ground crew, are testing 3 Lightning II jets at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, working alongside their counterparts from the US Marine Corps.
The latest testing has been used to expand the operational envelope, with aircraft flown in a variety of air and sea states, landing at day and night, all while carrying internal weapons.
The vertical night landings which took place on the USS Wasp, were the first to be conducted at sea.
Speaking at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) event in London, the UK Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, said:
Our Armed Forces will be equipped with the best next generation jet fighter machine, giving them the operational advantage they will need to protect our citizens for decades to come.
The fifth-generation stealth aircraft will fly from the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Carriers from 2018.