UK’s Lightning fighter jets head to US for advanced military trials

British supersonic stealth jets are being taken by the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier to conduct advanced trials with the US military.

The F-35 Lightning jets, the world’s most advanced, will undergo rigorous mission planning and flying exercises off the east coast of north America, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

HMS Queen Elizabeth
UK F-35 Lightning jets landing, taking off and hovering onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time (LPhot Kyle Heller/MoD)

The MoD released images of the multi-role advanced aircraft hovering above and landing on the 65,000 tonne carrier for the first time on Sunday.

It follows successful trials last year with US military Lightning jets.

The F-35B Lightning jet is the first to combine radar-evading stealth technology with supersonic speeds and short take-off and vertical landing capability.

The fighter planes will be jointly manned by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy and can operate from land and sea.

HMS Queen Elizabeth
Lt Cdr Matt Fooks-Bale after landing a UK F-35 Lightning (LPhot Kyle Heller/MoD)

Speaking last year, defence minister Stuart Andrew said:”Exceptional engineering from the UK is not only helping to build what is the world’s most advanced fighter jet, but is also ensuring it’s equipped with the very best firepower.

“A British F-35 jet with British-built weapons is a symbol of the major part we are playing in what is the world’s biggest ever defence programme, delivering billions for our economy and a game-changing capability for our armed forces.”

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