Moreover, because of its F-35 program partnership and "excellent airspace," UK represents a key component in combat readiness for air forces in Europe.
The F-35A Lightning II aircraft is an impressive jet. It's a versatile, 9g-capable multirole fighter that is packed with the latest tech, delivering unparalleled situational awareness. Powered by a Pratt and Whitney F135-PW-100 turbofan engine, this metal beast can fly at speeds that reach Mach 1.6 and cover distances of 1,700 miles (2,800 km).
The fighter jet can carry a payload that weighs as much as 18,000 lbs (8,160 kg), and when going into combat, it can be equipped with anything from a 4-barrel rotary cannon to missiles and bombs.
Upon landing on UK soil, the aircraft will head to the 495th Fighter Squadron, which is nicknamed the "Valkyries" and is part of the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath. The new squadron will consist of 24 F-35A Lightning II aircraft in total, which will be delivered in batches.
"Valkyries' epitomises the force's move toward more inclusivity and equally represents the fifth-generation stealth fighter's air superiority. Like the Valkyries themselves, we'll be vital to determining the fate of our adversaries in the battlespace," said 495th Fighter Squadron Commander Lieutenant Colonel Ian McLaughlin in a statement.
Currently, there are close to 700 F-35s in service around the world. They operate in different configurations that have similar avionics and performance characteristics.