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Britain's new stealth warplanes to arrive at RAF base two months early

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-05-16 23:08

LONDON - The first of Britain's new fleet of warplanes will arrive at their RAF base early next month, Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson announced Wednesday.

Williamson confirmed the imminent arrival of the F-35 Lightning stealth jets to RAF Marham in Norfolk during an event to mark the 75th anniversary of one of the most famous raids of World War II by the legendary Dambusters.

The new aircraft are due to fly across the Atlantic Ocean from the United States with several air-to-air refueling serials. They will be flown by members of the newly reformed 617 Squadron, the name of the squadron immortalized by the Dambusters mission in 1943 to breach dams in Germany using bouncing bombs.

Williamson said at Wednesday's event: "Just like those Lancasters which played such a vital role in the Second World War, the F-35B Lightning is based on great British design, operating with futuristic technology to adapt to an increasingly dangerous world."

Today's 617 Squadron is currently training with Britain's F-35 Lightning jets in America before they start flying to Britain two months ahead of schedule.

A spokesperson for the MOD said: "The F-35B Lightning, multi-role fighter jet is the first to combine radar evading stealth technology with supersonic speeds and short take-off and vertical landing capability."

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