Friday 1st July 2016 was an historic day for the UK as elements of the future Royal Navy and Royal Air Force combat air fleets, the F-35B Lightning II, flew over their prospective ‘homes’; HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Prince of Wales in Rosyth and RAF Marham in Norfolk.
The head of the Fleet Air Arm, Rear-Admiral Keith Blount commented: ‘Today marks a significant milestone in the nation’s return to aircraft carrier aviation and carrier strike. Both ships have been designed from the keel up to operate with the F-35B and the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy are working ever closer to see fixed-wing aircraft once more operating from Royal Navy Aircraft Carriers. I feel very proud to be part of it.’
The new aircraft carriers will each be capable of operating up to 36 F-35B Lightning II stealth jets.