The Lightning F-35B, the UK’s new fighter jet, has completed missions in Syria and Iraq. The F-35’s first operational sortie was a patrol from RAF Akrotiri over Syria by two aircraft, providing support to Operation Shader, the UK’s part in the Global Coalition’s counter-Daesh activity. The F-35 boasts stealth technology, supersonic speeds and can make short take-offs and vertical landings; it is the first aircraft to combnine these features.
“The F-35s are the most advanced jets our country has ever possessed and will form the backbone of British air defence for decades to come,” said UK defence secretary Penny Mordaunt. “They have passed every test their training has thrown at them with flying colours and their first real operational mission is a significant step into the future for the UK.”