Where are the RAF’s Lightning II F-35’s Located & Their Cost?

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.LocationSquadron
BK-01ZM135Edwards Air Force Base, USA17 Squadron
BK-02ZM136Edwards Air Force Base, USA17 Squadron
BK-03ZM137Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort, USANot yet assigned
BK-04ZM138Edwards Air Force Base, USA17 Squadron
BK-05ZM139MCAS Beaufort, USANot yet assigned
BK-06ZM140RAF Marham617 Squadron
BK-07ZM141RAF Marham617 Squadron
BK-08ZM142RAF Marham617 Squadron
BK-09ZM143RAF Marham617 Squadron
BK-10ZM144RAF Marham617 Squadron
BK-11ZM145RAF Marham617 Squadron
BK-12ZM146RAF Marham617 Squadron
BK-13ZM147RAF Marham617 Squadron
BK-14ZM148RAF Marham617 Squadron
BK-150ZM149Naval Air Station Patuxent River, USANot 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.

Aircraft Data

  • 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.

Aircraft Cost

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.

References

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].

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