Pictured is the first of the UKs F-35B Lightning II jets to be flown to the UK
Pictured is the first of the UK's F-35B Lightning II jets to be flown to the UK.
Accompanied by two United States Marine Corps F-35B aircraft from their training base at Beaufort, South Carolina.
The F-35B Lightning II will place the UK at the forefront of fighter technology, giving the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy a true multi-role all weather, day and night capability, able to operate from well-established land bases, deployed locations or the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be known in UK service as the Lightning II. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor but the UK is the only Level 1 partner with the US. A number of British companies, including BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce will have significant industrial work-share in construction and development of the aircraft. The Lightning II will provide UK Defence with a 5th Generation (low observable, supersonic, enhanced data fusion), multi-role, all weather, day and night aircraft that will have the ability to operate from land bases as well as the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers, the first of which is due to accept Lightning II onto her deck in 2018. This basing flexibility will give UK Defence a truly joint expeditionary Combat Air capability well into the 2030's. The RAF is the lead service for the operation of Lightning II and, like the Harrier before, the Joint Lightning II Force will be manned by both RAF and RN personnel
Royal Navy Seaking Mk4 Helicopters Over Northern Norway
Royal Navy Seaking Mk4 helicopters from 845 Naval Air Squadron conducting Arctic flying training over the snow covered mountains of northern Norway.
Situated some 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle at the Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) training facility near Bardufoss, Northern Norway, the JHC base known as Clockwork provides survival and operational training and support facilities to enable aviation capable units arms to survive, operate and fight in extreme cold weather environments.
JHC Clockwork has provided Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) with an Arctic base for over 40 years the training provided by the facility is as relevant today as it has always been. It enables CHF to prepare for future operations and is fundamental to the delivery of littoral manoeuvre for the Royal Navy given the geography and excellent facilities that exist in the local area.
150 Naval personnel from Commando Helicopter Force normally based at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset will take part in their annual winter training exercise in Northern Norway. Aircrews, engineers and support staff from 845 Naval Air Squadron flying Royal Navy Sea King Mk4 helicopters will conduct essential Environmental Training (ET) and Pre-Deployment Training (PDT) in preparation for future deployments.
At the same time around 50 Naval personnel attached to 28 Squadron Royal Air Force from RAF Benson will also conduct Arctic flying training with the Augusta Westland Merlin Mk 3 helicopter.
This image was a winner in the 2014 RN Peregrine Trophy Competition
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RAF Chinook Carrying Army Land Rover
A Royal Air Force Chinook helicopter is pictured carrying an Army Land Rover as part of Exercise Wessex Thunder.
RAF Chinooks from RAF Odiham taking part in Exercise Wessex Thunder (Ex WT) on Salisbury Plain. Ex WT saw 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) working with the Omani Western Frontier Regiment from the Royal Omani Army over a 2 week lonf exercise which concluded in a co-ordinated attack on the urban warfare training facility at Copehill Down. 2 PARA launched the initial assault with the Omani troops arriving by two Chinook's to reinforce the paras and complete the capture of the village.
The Chinook's also moved vehicles around the plain as underslung loads.
Royal Air Force Odiham is situated in North Hampshire, 46 Miles south west of London . The nearest large town is Basingstoke, 7 miles to the West. The working population of the Station is about 2, 000, of which around 100 are civilians.
Royal Air Force Odiham operates three Support Helicopter (SH) squadrons and one Army Air Corps (AAC) Lynx squadron. A conversion flight is incorporated in one of SH squadrons. The flying units are supported by Forward Support Wing, which provides 2nd line aircraft, equipment engineering and logistics support, and by Base Support Wing, which manages the Station infrastructure, finance, welfare and other support tasks. Ops Wing is responsible for co-ordinating all aspects of operational and logistic output and also manages the airfield services.
Nos 7, 18 (B) and 27 squadrons, equipped with the Chinook HC2, HC2A and HC3 and No 657 Squadron (AAC) with its Lynx AH7s, operate in support of NATO and UK interests worldwide, providing direct support to the Army. No 18 (B) Squadron additionally operates a training flight to convert pilots and crewmen to fly the Chinook. The Joint Helicopter Support Squadron is also based at Royal Air Force Odiham and deploys with the squadrons to provide specialist underslung load support and landing site management in
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