The first four of Britain’s next generation F-35 Lightning supersonic fighter jets touched down in the United Kingdom on Wednesday 6 June at RAF Marham in Suffolk.
The jets had flown the 3,000 miles from the US Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina, but had been delayed by bad weather.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson spoke as the jets arrived, “These formidable fighters are a national statement of our intent to protect ourselves and our allies from intensifying threats across the world.” He went on to say that the F-35B’s offered, “a game changing ability to collect crucial intelligence, fight wars and tackle terrorism, these are the most advanced jets in British history.”
The F-35B’s will, from around 2020, fly from the decks of the two Royal Navy aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. Britain intends to buy 48 of the F-35B’s by 2025 in a deal worth £9.1 billion to the American aerospace giant Lockheed Martin who subcontracts a significant amount of work on all the F-35’s produced to BAE Systems. Ministers have pledged to buy a total of 138 jets that will be jointly operated by the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.
On 10 June, following a technology insertion period to the ship undertaken at Portsmouth, the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed to undertake a shakedown trial for up to three weeks ahead of an extended period off the US East Coast for F-35B Lightning II flight trials.
The British built Kharg has been overhauled and returned to service with the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy. Built in the 1970’s on the River Tyne the Kharg was ordered before the fall of the Shah of Iran and spent many years awaiting a decision of whether she could sail to Iran.
When she did arrive in the Middle East the vessel became the largest in the Iranian fleet.
The computer generated images, released during a meeting of senior China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation executives, depicts a trio of aircraft carriers including the two existing vessels fitted for short take off and arrested recovery (STOBAR), with the third confi gured for electromagnetic catapult and wire arrested recovery (CATOBAR) as per French and American carrier designs.
In the photo, the new, as yet unnamed aircraft carrier, has three catapults which are being developed to assist the take off of J-15 carrier borne fighters.
The People’s Army of Vietnam Navy (PAVN) has ordered that their state owned shipyard Z189 start construction of the navy’s first submarine rescue vessel. Known as MSSARS 9316 or multi purpose submarine search and rescue ship 9316, the vessel’s build started on 24 May just outside of Haiphong.
The ship will have a displacement of around 4,000 tons and will be 93 metres long and 16 metres wide. She will also be able to cope with the severe weather conditions sometimes experienced in the waters around Vietnam during monsoons and typhoons.