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UK Royal Navy F-35s to be flown by Immortal pilots

09 September 2013
809 Naval Air Squadron will be the first Royal Navy unit to fly the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, the UK MoD has announced. The UK's first IOT&E F-35B is pictured. Source: Lockheed Martin

On 9 September the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) revealed that 809 Naval Air Squadron will be the first UK Royal Navy unit to fly the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

809 Naval Air Squadron, whose motto is 'Immortal', was founded during the Second World War and was last disbanded in 1982. The squadron is thus being reconstituted to operate the F-35B.

Admiral Sir George Zambellas, First Sea Lord, stated: "I am delighted to announce that the name of the second Lightning II squadron, when it forms, will be 809 Naval Air Squadron." The professional head of the Royal Navy added: "This squadron number is chosen to link with and reflect the proud and distinguished history of embarked carrier strike, from the Second World War to the Falklands."



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