Two F-35 Lightning IIs Flexed Muscles Over Europe Just as War Was About to Start

With war raging for three weeks now over in Ukraine, talk of an arms race is once again on the table. Faced with an aggression most of them did not believe possible in the 21st century, nations that have tried to keep their military at a minimum in recent years are once again shopping for weapons.
F-35A Lightning IIs over the UK 16 photos
Photo: USAF/Tech. Sgt. Rachel Maxwell
F-35A Lightning IIs over the UKF-35A Lightning IIs on an elephant walkF-35A Lightning II with the 495th Fighter SquadronF-35A Lightning II at Thunder and Lightning Over ArizonaF-35A Lightning II on vertical ascentF-35 Lightning buzzing the CN TowerF-35A Lighting IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35 LightningF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35 Lightning cruising subsonic into the sunsetF-35A Lightning II demo team schedule
The war in Ukraine made one thing obvious: tanks and other land-based military machines are no longer the stars of the battlefield and are worth close to nothing when faced with advanced airplanes, drones, and specialized missiles.

Several countries in Europe, including Germany, are now looking to increase defense spending in light of Russia’s aggression on its neighboring country. At the top of the shopping list are all of the above-mentioned systems, and especially America’s fifth-generation aircraft, the F-35 Lightning II.

Already serving the needs of some 13 of America’s international allies, many of which based in Europe, the war machine is likely to become an even more common sight in the skies over the Old Continent, with Germany alone planning to purchase some 35 of them.

So, instances such as the one we have here, with several of these planes flying formation over the otherwise peaceful European countryside are likely to multiply exponentially.

Somewhat ironically, this particular image, released not long ago by the U.S. Air Force (USAF), was snapped just two days before Russia invaded Ukraine, at a time when nobody could have foreseen how the world would change in just a matter of days.

The two planes are assigned to the 495th Fighter Squadron, the Valkyries we’ve seen featured in autoevolution’s Photo of the Day section a number of times before.

Back on the 22nd of February, the airplanes were returning to the Royal Air Force Lakenheath base in the United Kingdom, after "concluding a training exercise.”
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Editor's note: Gallery shows other F-35s.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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