On 30 August, UK Defense Minister Stuart Andrew revealed that a British F-35 Lightning stealth fighter jet carried its first trials armed with UK-built weapons, a step closer to operations on the frontline.
F-35B Lightning Stealth Fighter Jet took the skies, flown by a British pilot from RAF 17 Squadron. The jet took to the skies from Edwards Air Force base in southern California for the first historic flight carrying ASRAAM (Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile).
The Defense Minister Stuart Andrew said that, F-35 Lightning fleet has moved another step closer to defending Britain’s skies. He took pride in Britain’s’ exceptional engineering in building what he termed as most advanced fighter jets with the very best firepower.
The ASRAAM missiles, manufactured by MBDA in Bolton, are just some of the important accessories the UK is supplying the F-35 programme.
The ASRAAM missiles will enable pilots to engage and shield themselves against other aircraft ranging in size from large multi-engine aircraft to small drones.
The F-35B Lightning multi-role fighter jet is the first to combine radar-evading stealth technology. Comes with supersonic speeds, short take-off and has vertical landing capability.
The stealth fighter jets will jointly be operated by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy and can operate from land and sea.