Military Capabilities

F-35B will be 'epochal change' for RAF

21 July 2013
The current Tornado GR.4 (background) and Eurofighter Typhoon (foreground) partnership, seen here at Red Flag exercise earlier in 2013, will be replaced later this decade by the pairing of the Typhoon and F-35B. Source: Jamie Hunter

The introduction into service of the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), currently scheduled for the end of this decade, will usher in "an epochal change" for the UK Royal Air Force (RAF), a senior service official said on 19 July.

Speaking at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Edward Stringer said that the RAF is on the verge of an epochal change as it prepares to transition over to the F-35B from the Panavia Tornado GR.4.

"What we as a service will be selling to the [UK Ministry of Defence] MoD is that we can already see where the next epoch is going to be in [air] combat" AVM Stringer said.

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