Back in February, we’ve seen just how fast the manufacturing of components for the F-35 is going, with one of the suppliers of components for the plane, BAE Systems, announcing the production of the 3,000th vehicle management computer (VMC), and 1,000 active inceptor system (AIS).
The USAF made no secret of the fact this machine will form the backbone of its fleet, with a total of over 1,700 F-35A variants being planned to enter service over the next few years. The F-35 came to be in 2006, but was only ready for service in 2016 for the USAF, which makes the rapid pace of deployment even more extraordinary.
The F-35 quickly rose to star status among military aviators, and it’s commonly featured in the USAF’s releases. One of the most recent adventures of the plane family was snapped on camera in mid-April, and recently released by the military branch.
It’s the main image of this piece we’re talking about, showing two F-35A Lightning IIs deployed with the 48th Fighter Wing, which is stationed at the British base in Lakenheath, as they were headed over the North Sea for a refueling mission. Alongside them flew a KC-135 Stratotanker of the 100th Air Refueling Wing from RAF Mildenhall in the same country, and that provided the perfect platform for this Photo of the Day to be taken.
We not only get to see the two birds in their natural environment, looking all serious and deadly, but also the pilot of the closest one, as he waves happily for the camera.