Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lockheed Completes First U.K. Joint Strike Fighter

Lockheed Martin has completed the first British F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft, the company announced Nov. 22.
The first international F-35 Lightning II rolls out of the factory on Nov. 20. The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence will use the short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) jet, known as BK-1, for training and operational tests. (Lockheed Martin)
Called BK-1, the new F-35B short takeoff, vertical landing jet will have to do functional fuel system checks before being transported to the flight line. The JSF will be delivered in 2012 after a series of ground and flight tests, Lockheed said in a press release.
"This is a major milestone in the JSF Programme for U.K., and we look forward to starting to operate the first British F-35s next year," Group Captain Harv Smyth, the British JSF national deputy said in the release. "JSF is ideally suited for U.K.'s future Combat Air capability needs, since it provides a world-class 5th Generation air system, which is capable of operating from both the land and our new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier."
The British will use the F-35B for operational test and training missions. Britain was originally slated to operate the F-35B for the bulk of its JSF fleet, but after a strategic review, decided to buy the F-35C carrier variant.

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