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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

RAF's 17 Sqn assumes control of F-35 test and evaluation

RAF F-35B Lightning IIThe Royal Air Force’s 17 Sqn has assumed control of the test and evaluation of the UK’s first Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II, marking the start of independent operational testing by the UK of its future Joint Strike Fighter.

The aircraft – dubbed BK-1 – is based at Edwards AFB, California, where 17 Sqn has now begun to test and evaluate without the assistance of US forces that have until now supported the test campaign for the UK’s aircraft.

Both RAF and Royal Navy personnel make up the squadron, which will work to ensure that the aircraft is interoperable with the UK’s regulations and its other assets – including the RN’s new aircraft carriers – ahead of initial operational capability clearance for the aircraft, which is earmarked for 2018.

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