The jets, costing £92m each, completed a 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic from US Marine Corps based in South Carolina. The UK’s military has committed to for purchasing 138 of the US planes from aviation company Lockheed Martin.
The supersonic planes will be based at RAF Marham in Norfolk, expected to be in operation by the end of December.
A 5th jet, set off from the US Marine base returned to South Carolina after it took fuel from an airborne RAF tanker. According to Douglas Barrie, senior fellow for military aerospace at the IISS, The F-35B “is the first aircraft that will enter British service designed from the outset to be low-observable, that is stealthy. This provides greater survivability than previous aircraft designs.”
The money is being spent on resurfacing runways, building a hangar and headquarters for 617 Squadron, as well as three vertical landing pads.
Israel recently carried out air strikes in Syria.
On Wednesday, these planes had been made to fly to the UK, but due to adverse weather conditions, the work denied. More five F-35s are expected to arrive at RAF Marham in July. These four RAF will form part of the recently reformed 617 squadron – nicknamed “The Dambusters” after the squadron’s missions of World War 2.
With the arrival of the first four F-35B Lightning II combat aircraft in Britain, a programme known as the “Joint Strike Fighter”, marks a significant moment for the RAF in a year during which it has been celebrating its centenary. the four pilots covered the journey about eight or nine hours. In May, Williamson showed an image of jets over Beirut, Lebanon, and said the planes had “already attacked twice on two different fronts”.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson explained the jets as “game-changing”, “These formidable fighters are a national statement of our intent to protect ourselves and our allies from intensifying threats across the world”.