Three brand new F-35B jets have been delivered to RAF Marham in Norfolk (Picture: Group Capt Phil Marr RAF).
Three brand new F-35B jets have been delivered to RAF Marham in Norfolk (Picture: Group Capt Phil Marr RAF).
Aircraft

Royal Air Force takes delivery of new batch of F35-B fighter jets

Three brand new F-35B jets have been delivered to RAF Marham in Norfolk (Picture: Group Capt Phil Marr RAF).
Three brand new F-35B jets have been delivered to RAF Marham in Norfolk (Picture: Group Capt Phil Marr RAF).

Three brand new F-35B jets have been delivered to the home of the Lightning Force at RAF Marham in Norfolk.

This latest delivery means the UK has now received 30 F-35 fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

With one aircraft lost after crashing off the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth's flight deck and three test jets located in the United States, there are now 26 F-35s in operational service.

Three brand new F-35B jets have been delivered to RAF Marham in Norfolk (Picture: Group Capt Phil Marr RAF).
The UK now has 26 F-35 aircraft in operational use (Picture: Group Capt Phil Marr RAF).

The F-35 measures 15.6m (51.2ft) in overall length, has a wingspan of 10.7m (35ft) and is 4.36m (14.3ft) high.

Its top speed comes in at 1.6 Mach or 1,200mph – that is 1.6 times the speed of sound – and its maximum thrust tops 40,000lbs.

The jet has a range of 900 nautical miles and a combat radius of 833km.

Three brand new F-35B jets have been delivered to RAF Marham in Norfolk (Picture: Group Capt Phil Marr RAF).
The UK has planned to eventually have 138 F-35Bs, with 74 of those by 2025 (Picture: Group Capt Phil Marr RAF).

The Lightning Force, made up of RAF and Royal Navy personnel, is based at RAF Marham and overseas operations involving the UK's F-35B aircraft.

According to the Royal Air Force's website, the following British squadrons fly the Lightning fighter jet:

  • 17 Squadron, stationed at California's Edwards Air Force Base, has been responsible for operational testing of the UK's F-35Bs since 2014
  • 617 Squadron, the first frontline F-35 unit, also known as the Dambusters, based at RAF Marham in Norfolk
  • 207 Squadron, which is the UK's F-35 Lightning training squadron, also based at Marham.

809 Naval Air Squadron, which is due to be stood up in 2023, will be the first Royal Navy formation to fly the F-35.