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UKs RAF takes delivery of four new F35B lightning stealth fighter jets

Britain's Royal Air Force took delivery of four F35B lightning stealth fighter jets on Wednesday. The picture shows one of them taking off from the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in US towards their new base RAF Marnham in Norfolk, UK.

Made for US and its allies ::

Last year, the Pentagon awarded Lockheed Martin Corp a $3.7 billion interim payment for fifty F-35 jet fighters that are earmarked for non-US customers.

The agreement allowed Lockheed to continue production of the F-35 jets while it finalises the terms of the 11th contract with the Pentagon. The contract provided funds for the procurement of 50 aircraft, comprised of one F-35B aircraft for Great Britain and other European countries.

Perfect order ::

The jets, which cost £92m each, made the 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic from a US Marine Corps base in South Carolina, reported the BBC.

Lockheed and its partners have been producing the jets under a placeholder agreement known as an 'undefinitised contract action'.

Mid-air refuelling ::

A fifth jet which set off from the US Marine base returned to South Carolina after the aircraft took fuel from an airborne RAF tanker, reported the BBC. The Royal Air Force is committed to purchase 138 of the US-built jets. They are expected to be in operation by the end of December.

The F-35 comes in three configurations ::

The A-model for the US Air Force and US allies; the B-model, which can handle short take-offs and vertical landings for the Marine Corps and British navy; and the carrier-variant F-35C jets.

Capable of a vertical and short takeoff ::
An F-35B fighter can take off after running just 100 meters (109 yards) or so from the deck of a carrier. It is also capable of vertical descent and take off.

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