First Sea Lord experiences F-35B simulation
The First Sea Lord has experienced what it is like to be pilot the world’s most advanced fighter jet thanks to a F-35B cockpit simulator.
With the Introduction to Service of the F-35B Lightning II jets starting to ramp up, and the first carrier construction at an advanced stage, the manufacturers Lockheed Martin brought a cockpit demonstrator to London.
The demonstrator provided visitors with the unique opportunity of flying the aircraft and seeing its capabilities first hand as well as meeting some of the military pilots who are currently flying the aircraft.
Admiral Sir George Zambellas, First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval staff, visited the demonstration. He said: “This was another opportunity to glimpse the impending arrival of the F35B fighter, whose stealth and capability will make it the world’s most advanced fighter.
“But we also had the chance to see some world-beating British technology - from ejector seats and fuel probes, to engines and brakes, the UK’s aeronautical heritage lives on in the design and manufacture of the F35B.”
The return to big deck, jet carrier operations in the Royal Navy is getting closer by the day.Admiral Sir George Zambellas
The UK is procuring the F-35B Lightning II to come in to service in 2018 as part of its Carrier Enabled Power Projection capability and Combat Air fleet.
The aircraft and the Queen Elizabeth Class Carrier will represent a significant step up in capability for the UK and will be a critical and strategic asset supporting all three Armed Services.
UK industry is also heavily involved in the design, development and manufacture of the global fleet of F-35 aircraft, with over 500 suppliers in the supply chain and many thousands of jobs.
The RAF and Royal Navy have been operating the F-35B in the US since 2012 as part of the Introduction into Service programme and the first operational squadron will form in 2016 and start training in the USA, with the squadron size growing over the following two years as aircraft are delivered.
Adm Zambellas added: “In a very few years, the flight deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth will be brought alive with the sound of their engines. Royal Navy pilots and Royal Air Force pilots will be able to observe and strike our enemies from the sea and with the unrivalled freedom and mobility of a carrier.
“So I say to our sailors, our engineers and our aviators: Prepare well, and get ready. The return to big deck, jet carrier operations in the Royal Navy is getting closer by the day.”