MOD set to order its first production batch of Lightning II Combat Aircraft
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon today announced that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has reached agreement in principle on an order for the first production batch of four Lightning II stealth combat aircraft – which will operate from both the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers and RAF land bases.
A formal contract is expected to be placed within weeks for the F-35B aircraft, which form part of the MOD’s investment in Lightning II over the next five years to procure an initial 14 of these multi-role fifth generation aircraft, together with the necessary support arrangements and infrastructure.
Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, said:
“Today’s announcement is a major step forward. The Lightning II will equip the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force with a highly advanced multi-role stealth combat aircraft, operating from both our new Queen Elizabeth class carriers and land bases.
“These aircraft will form part of the first UK-based squadron of F-35s, which will take up station at RAF Marham in 2018. This programme is also bringing substantial industrial benefits to the UK, providing thousands of skilled jobs in the UK aerospace industry.” (Thanks to the MoD website).
Well, they’ve actually been and gone and done it, despite the fact that the overweight, over budget, poor performing F35 has not even been guaranteed delivery at £30 mill a pop. This blog was meant (and has stirred up comment) to question the veracity of the F35, knowing that the Harrier will never return. Yes I admit it, my four year campaign is now spent. It was but a pipe dream anyway, there really was no way the government whoever it might have been, would have back peddled and bought the Harrier back from the States. No that would have been too much to expect, despite the fact that had the Harrier stayed in service, some outcomes in Afghanistan and Libya might have been different. I agree that UK industry will benefit but so would they if the Harrier had still been in service