Royal F-35s – the UK’s stealthy defenders of the realm

An overview of the F-35B-equipped UK Lightning Force from a Key Publishing special magazine on the stealth fighter

The passage of time, changes to defence policies and underwhelming defence budgets are common in many of the nations in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and those elsewhere in the Western world. The UK’s F-35B-equipped Lightning Force has suffered directly or indirectly from each point listed above.

Based at RAF Marham in the west of Norfolk, the Lightning Force is a joint organisation comprising Royal Navy and Royal Air Force personnel. Their facilities are located on the new southern operational area of the base and comprise two purpose-built squadron buildings, simulators, a maintenance, and final finishing facility (the low-observable coatings repair shop), flight line environmental shelters, a Lightning operations centre, and an integrated training centre. These were constructed under Project Anvil and the main buildings resemble a contemporary shopping mall.

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