A United Kingdom Royal Air Force test pilot takes off from the USS Wasp on Aug. 13, 2013. The flight marked the first time a U.K. military pilot flew an F-35B short takeoff mission at sea. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)
Britain on Monday announced it had signed a contract with US manufacturer Lockheed Martin to buy the first of 14 F-35B combat jets. The four Lightning II stealth combat aircraft will operate from both of the new Queen Elizabeth-class jump-ramp aircraft carriers and from Royal Air Force land bases.


A Computer Generated Image (CGI) of the hangar of HMS Queen Elizabeth containing F-35B Lightning II STVOL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) jets. The future aircraft carriers, to be named HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, will be the biggest and most powerful surface warships ever constructed in the UK. They will provide our forces with world-class capabilities, supporting peace-keeping, conflict prevention and our strategic operational priorities.  They will be a highly versatile and potent joint defence asset, able to meet the widest range of tasks.000000000000000000000000000000

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