Lockheed Martin has rolled out the first F-35B Joint Strike Fighter test aircraft for the United Kingdom.
The jet, BK-1, will undergo functional fuel system checks before heading to the flight line for ground and flight tests in the coming months. It is to be delivered to the UK for training and further testing in 2012.
Interestingly, the UK’s Strategic Defence Review conducted late last year called for its order for 138 F-35Bs to be changed to the carrier F-35C model, and for its first QEII class aircraft carrier to be equipped with conventional catapults and arrestor gear. The UK reportedly made representations to the US government earlier this year to change its first two early build aircraft which were already in production to F-35Cs, possibly with a swap of airframes with the US Navy and Marine Corps, but it is not known whether those talks have progressed.
BK-1 is the first F-35 produced for a country other than the US, Lockheed Martin said.
25% off starts now! Australian Aviation magazine Cyber Monday sale is now live. Have the very best of Australian Aviation’s annual print and digital subscription. This includes every In Focus and Behind the Lens digital magazine, special coverage, exclusive photos and editions you may have miss. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.
Start your very own aviation journey with Australian Aviation. Sign up today for as little as $49.95 and you’ll enjoy access to:
You can always rely on us to keep you in the know.
Join now and start enjoying all these benefits today.