Four of the RAF’s new F-35 Lightning jets have just returned to the UK after a two-month exercise in Cyprus, the British Forces Network reports.
During their time on the island, they flew their first operational missions over Iraq and Syria, it added.
Currently, the UK has 17 of the ‘B’ variant, with plans to eventually buy 138.
F-35s are different from other aircraft, Wing Commander John Butcher said. “The F-35 is a brand new capability, unlike anything we have seen before,” adding “It is a state-of-the-art world-leading combat aircraft.”
The aircraft can do fast take-off and vertical landing, but those are just some of their features. “It has the mission sets to go and drop bombs, find missiles, or to do electronic attack,” he added.
“Each F-35 that is out in the battlespace is constantly talking to each other about what each individual aircraft is seeing and communicating that.
“Then, we are able to push that out through a linked network so that our allies and fourth-generation Typhoons can see what is going on,” said Wg Cdr Butcher.