RAF Lakenheath becomes first airbase in Europe to get new F-35A fighter jets

A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 495th Fighter Squadron lands on the flightline a

A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II lands at Royal Air Force Lakenheath - Credit: Senior Airman Koby I. Saunders/RAF Lakenheath

RAF Lakenheath has become the first US air force base in Europe to receive a delivery of the new F-35A Lighting II aircraft. 

It was announced in 2015 that the American airbase would become the first European base in the United States Air Forces to receive the new fifth generation aircraft. 

The airbase was selected in 2015 to host the first US F-35A squadrons in Europe based on very close ties with the RAF, existing infrastructure, and combined training opportunities.   

US airforce bosses described the F-35A as an agile, versatile, high-performance, 9g-capable multirole fighter jet.

General and commander of United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Jeff Harrigian said: "Our coalition forces train and fight in the most dynamic theatre, requiring the most advanced platforms.

"The Valkyries are leading our F-35 integration across Europe.

"We’ve come a long way, and now we’re extending our reach as a coalition force and what we will accomplish together.”

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