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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

F-35 to mark international debut at RAF Fairford


The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II will make its much-anticipated international debut in UK this summer, after missing last years edition following safety concerns due to an engine fire.

U.S. Air Force's 56th Fighter Wing from Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, will send two F-35A Lightning IIs to fly in heritage flights and to be on public display at the Royal International Air Tattoo at Royal Air Force Fairford, England, and the Farnborough International Airshow.

The Royal International Air Tattoo is scheduled for July 7 through 9, and the Farnborough International Airshow will be July 11 through 17.

"We're very excited about demonstrating this capability to the world," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III. "The F-35 represents a new way of thinking about data integration, weapons and tactics. We're thrilled to highlight the program and the amazing Airmen who support this cutting-edge fighter."

The Air Force Heritage Flight program features modern Air Force fighter aircraft flying alongside World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War-era aircraft in a dynamic display of our nation's airpower history.

Visitors to the Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford will be the first outside the US to see the stealthy, supersonic aircraft's state-of-the-art capabilities when it displays on all three days of the airshow (July 8-10).

UK, which contributes 15 percent of the F-35, has recently announced plan to speed up the purchase of 24 of the multi-role combat aircraft, a decision that will see two front-line squadrons operating from the UK's two new aircraft carriers by 2023.

Its appearance at RAF Fairford in July will be the latest in a long list of legendary military aircraft that have made their UK debut at the Air Tattoo.

These have included the F-14 Tomcat in 1976, the MiG-23 in 1991, the Typhoon in 1995, the V-22 Osprey in 2006 and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force Kawasaki P1 in 2015.
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