As of 24 August 2018, the Royal Air Force (RAF) had 15 Lightning II F-35B aircraft in the following locations.
|Production No.||Tail No.||Location||Squadron|
|BK-01||ZM135||Edwards Air Force Base, USA||17 Squadron|
|BK-02||ZM136||Edwards Air Force Base, USA||17 Squadron|
|BK-03||ZM137||Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort, USA||Not yet assigned|
|BK-04||ZM138||Edwards Air Force Base, USA||17 Squadron|
|BK-05||ZM139||MCAS Beaufort, USA||Not yet assigned|
|BK-06||ZM140||RAF Marham||617 Squadron|
|BK-07||ZM141||RAF Marham||617 Squadron|
|BK-08||ZM142||RAF Marham||617 Squadron|
|BK-09||ZM143||RAF Marham||617 Squadron|
|BK-10||ZM144||RAF Marham||617 Squadron|
|BK-11||ZM145||RAF Marham||617 Squadron|
|BK-12||ZM146||RAF Marham||617 Squadron|
|BK-13||ZM147||RAF Marham||617 Squadron|
|BK-14||ZM148||RAF Marham||617 Squadron|
|BK-150||ZM149||Naval Air Station Patuxent River, USA||Not yet assigned|
It is important to note that non-assigned aircraft will have since been assigned to squadrons and other aircraft may have moved to other bases/squadrons.
- Top speed: 1,976 km/h
- Range: 1,667 km
- Weight: 14,700 kg
- Length: 15 m
- Wingspan: 11 m
- Engine type: Pratt & Whitney F135
- Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.
More detailed information on the aircraft’s characteristics can be found at the Lockheed Martin reference below.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.
Three variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least ten other countries.
The Royal Air Force and Royal Navy plan to operate 138 F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft. Their training is taking place at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, where British pilots and maintainers will be embedded with the U.S. Marine Corps and their fleet of F-35Bs.
Production costs have varied, for a variety of reasons, but here are Lockheed Martin’s aircraft costs as of 20 December 2018 (Lockheed Martin, 2018):
- F-35A: $89.2 million per aircraft.
- F-35B: $115.5 million per aircraft.
- F-35C: $107.7 million per aircraft.
Lockheed’s goal is to reduce the cost of a F-35A to $80 million per aircraft by 2020.
FOI 2018/10389 dated 24 August 2018.
Lockheed Martin. (2018) F-35 Lightning II Program Status and Fast Facts. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.f35.com/assets/uploads/documents/F-35_Fast_Facts_-_Dec_2018.pdf. [Accessed: 21 January, 2019].