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Lockheed unveils first F-35 Lightning II for UK


A file photo of F-35 aircraft.

FORT WORTH (BNS): Lockheed Martin has rolled out the first F-35 Lightning II for the United Kingdom.

The short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft, known as BK-1 will be used for training and operational tests, a company statement said.

BK-1 will also undergo functional fuel system checks before being transported to the flight line for ground and flight tests. The aircraft is scheduled to be delivered in 2012.

"This is a major milestone in the JSF Programme for UK, and we look forward to starting to operate the first British F-35s next year. JSF is ideally suited for UK'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," Group Captain Harv Smyth, the UK's Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) national deputy said.

"This programme delivers unrivalled Combat Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (Combat ISTAR) capability to the UK Armed Forces," added Lockheed Martin Aero UK Director Paul Livingston.

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.

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