F-35A Lightning IIs touch down at RAF Lakenheath
A small number of F-35A Lightning IIs touched down at RAF Lakenheath as part of a long-planned training deployment to Europe.
The joint strike fighters from the 388th Fighter Wing landed at the Suffolk airbase after flying in from the Hill Air Force Base in Utah, refuelling mid-flight above the Atlantic.
They will be put through their paces during training missions with other US and NATO air bases across Europe over the next few weeks as part of the European Reassurance Initiative.
Photos of Donald Trump’s £100m SUPERSONIC F-35A Lightning jets Wed, April 19, 2017
Behind-the-scenes look at President Trump’s £100m Supersonic F-35A Lightning jets which have touched down at Suffolk’s RAF Lakenheath base
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An F-35A Lightning II prepares to receive fuel from a 100th Air Refueling Wing KC-135 Stratotanker over the Atlantic Ocean
Inside the cockpit of an F-35A Lightning II
The F-35A is a multi-role precision attack fighter with unmatched lethality, survivability and interoperability
It seen as bolstering allies defence in the wake of recent Russian aggression.
RAF Lakenheath will house two Joint Strike Fighter squadrons which are set to arrive in 2021.
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A USAF spokesman said: “The F-35A is a multi-role precision attack fighter with unmatched lethality, survivability and interoperability.”
A F-35A Lightning II refuels mid-flight above the Atlantic
Another version of the jet will be used by the RAF and will be stationed at RAF Marham in Norfolk.
The F-35A Lightning II is the world’s most advanced multi-role fighter and each plane has a £100m price tag.
The £100m F-35A Lightning II in flight
Its advanced stealth allows pilots to go into areas without being detected by radars which can detect older fighters.
A variety of missions traditionally performed by specialist aircraft such as air-to-air combat, air-to-ground strikes, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance can be carried out by the F-35A.