Search

Welcome to RAF Lakenheath: F-35A Lightning IIs land at the Suffolk air base for training deployment

PUBLISHED: 16:05 15 April 2017 | UPDATED: 16:09 15 April 2017

An F-35A Lightning II from the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, lands at RAF Lakenheath on a training deployment. Picture: Master Sgt Eric Burks

An F-35A Lightning II from the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, lands at RAF Lakenheath on a training deployment. Picture: Master Sgt Eric Burks

Archant

RAF Lakenheath has welcomed a small number of F-35A Lightning IIs as part of a long-planned training deployment to Europe.

The joint strike fighters, from the 388th Fighter Wing, landed at the Suffolk base on Saturday afternoon having arrived from the Hill Air Force Base in Utah.

The aircraft are scheduled to conduct training with other US and NATO air bases across Europe for several weeks as part of the European Reassurance Initiative.

F-35A Lightnings from Hill Air Force Base in Utah,  fly in formation over the Utah Test and Training Range, in March 2017. Picture:US Air Force photo/Ronald Bradshaw/75th Air Base Wing F-35A Lightnings from Hill Air Force Base in Utah, fly in formation over the Utah Test and Training Range, in March 2017. Picture:US Air Force photo/Ronald Bradshaw/75th Air Base Wing

The training deployment will assists in refining requirements for when the F-35A will arrive at European bases.

RAF Lakenheath will house two Joint Strike Fighter squadrons which are set to arrive in 2021.

Earlier this month, meetings were held between contractors and military members at the air base to discuss the future construction projects needed for when the fighter jets arrive.

MORE - Construction projects to house F-35 Lightning 11 at RAF Lakenheath discussed

The squadrons are set to arrive in 2021.

Demolition work is scheduled to begin in 2018 followed by major construction of new facilities in 2019 to house the expected 1,200 extra US Air Force Airman and 50 jets.

A USAF spokesman said: “The F-35A is a multi-role precision attack fighter with unmatched lethality, survivability and interoperability.”

Another version of the jet will be used by the RAF and will be stationed at RAF Marham.

MORE - Major boost for west Norfolk as £40m training hub at RAF Marham is funded

Construction work at the base is due to be completed early next year and the first planes are due to arrive in Norfolk later in 2018.

The F-35A Lightning II:

It is the world’s most advanced multi-role fighter.

Its advanced stealth allows pilots to go into areas without being detected by radars which can detect older fighters.

Missions traditionally performed by specialized aircraft — air-to-air combat, air-to-ground strikes, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance — can now be executed by a squadron of F-35s.

Each jet costs nearly £100m

Other news

Yesterday, 16:43

Two people have been charged in connection with burglaries in Breckland.

Yesterday, 14:18

Editor David Powles explains the story behind the first ever Norfolk Day.

Yesterday, 13:48

Cancer kills more people in Norfolk than any other condition.

Yesterday, 12:43

A van driver 14 times the legal limit for ketamine and a man on cocaine with three children under five in the car.

Most Read

Yesterday, 16:43

Two people have been charged in connection with burglaries in Breckland.

Read more
Norwich Magistrates Court
Yesterday, 14:18

Editor David Powles explains the story behind the first ever Norfolk Day.

Read more
Mon, 10:56

The construction of 98 new energy-efficient houses has been marked by a traditional topping-out ceremony - with locally-brewed beer poured over roof tiles.

Read more
Mon, 10:20

A mountain bike and cash were stolen during a burglary in Watton.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 26°C

min temp: 12°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Watton and Swaffham Times e-edition today
E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Watton and Swaffham Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy