History made as UK F-35s complete first operational missions

June 25, 2019 – The UK’s newest and most advanced fighter jet, the Lightning F-35B, has successfully completed its first operational missions. F-35s have flown alongside Typhoon aircraft on operational flights over the skies of Syria and Iraq, as part of the ongoing fight against Daesh, the Defence Secretary has confirmed. This follows a successful training period in Cyprus, known…

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Defence Secretary Announces First P-8A Deployment

February 18, 2019 – Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced that the UK’s new fleet of submarine hunting aircraft will take to the skies over the Arctic next year. While visiting Royal Marines and Royal Navy personnel on winter training in Norway, the Defence Secretary announced that as part of their first deployment next year the RAF P8 Maritime Patrol…

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UK Defense Minister Stuart Andrew Makes P-8A Announcement

January 31, 2019 – Defence Minister Stuart Andrew has announced the first fuel tanks supporting the UK’s new fleet of submarine hunting aircraft have rolled off the line in Cambridge. The major milestone comes after the first cohort of RAF aircrew commenced their training for the program earlier this month, marking the start of a vital enhancement of the UK’s…

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GA-ASI Receives Experimental Certification on Newest MQ-9B SkyGuardian

December 4, 2018 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) received a Special Airworthiness Certification in the Experimental Category from the FAA for its second MQ-9B SkyGuardian aircraft. The company-owned Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) – registered as N191FP and known as YBC02 – joins the first SkyGuardian in support of the MQ-9B development program. This certification permits YBC02 to conduct…

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Sea King Helicopters and Asbestos

December 5, 2018 – Serving personnel, veterans, former MOD civilian personnel and contractors may have seen media reports about asbestos being found in some sea king helicopters. The MOD has undertaken an investigation and people that may have had an association with the sea king might find the following information useful in considering the possible risk of exposure: Asbestos in sea king the sea king…

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Lightnings strike Eagles and Hawks as F-35s train to defend UK skies

November 30, 2018 – Side by side several thousand feet above eastern England three warbirds fly in close formation as UK F-35s take part in their first combat exercise in home skies: playing out a mock 21st-Century Battle of Britain. Two Lightnings – one flown by an RAF pilot, the second with a Fleet Air Arm aviator in the cockpit…

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RFA Tidesurge Conducts Chinook Trials

November 12, 2018 – While her sister pumps hundreds of tonnes of fuel into Britain’s new aircraft carrier, RFA Tidesurge is proving the £113m ships are more than mere tankers. The third of four large, fast tankers – built specifically to support the UK’s two Queen Elizabeth-class flagships – is carrying out trials with the largest helicopter on the UK…

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F-35Bs Join Forces with British Aircraft Carrier to Make History

October 2, 2018 – This week the first F-35 Lightning fighter jets landed on the deck of the United Kingdom’s new aircraft carrier making history and marking the beginning of more than half-a-century of ‘Carrier Strike’ operations. Royal Navy Cmdr. Nathan Gray and Royal Air Force Sq. Ldr. Andy Edgell, both test pilots at the F-35 Integrated Test Force at…

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RAF Jets Intercept Russian Bombers approaching UK Airspace

Today (20 September), RAF Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Typhoon fighter aircraft scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth to monitor two Russian planes approaching UK airspace. The Russian Blackjacks long-range bombers were not talking to air traffic control, making them a hazard to all other aviation. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: Russian bombers probing UK airspace is another reminder of the very serious…

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Sea King Helicopters: Asbestos

September 12, 2018 – The Ministry of Defence (MOD) are currently making a thorough investigation into whether some sea king helicopters contain asbestos. Veterans may have seen media reports about asbestos being found in some sea King helicopters. The MOD is undertaking a thorough investigation of this and any advice to veterans will be published here when available. In the meantime, the…

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British-armed F-35B Lightning jet takes to the skies

Britain’s new stealth fighter jet, the F-35B Lightning, has carried out its first trials armed with UK-built weapons, showcasing the major role that the UK plays in the supersonic aircraft and bringing it a step closer to operations on the frontline. Defence Minister Stuart Andrew revealed that a British F-35 Lightning jet reached the landmark milestone whilst he was on…

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Lightning pilots ramp up training for HMS Queen Elizabeth debut

August 22, 2018 – Ramping up training ahead of debuting on Britain’s new carrier, ex-Fleet Air Arm pilot Peter ‘Wizzer’ Wilson takes off from a replica ski jump in an F-35B. Four test pilots are getting in last-minute training ready to take their specially-modified stealth fighters aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth next month. They’ll conduct around 500 landings and take-offs on the…

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