Two new flagship stealth aircraft arrive at RAF Lakenheath

Two U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning IIs from RAF Lakenheath perform a pass

A US Air Force F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 495th Fighter Squadron lands at RAF Lakenheath on April 16, 2022. Picture: Staff Sgt. Dhruv Gopinath - Credit: 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

RAF Lakenheath has welcomed two new F-35As to its fleet.

The fighter jets arrived on April 16 and will serve as the flagships of the 493rd and the 495th Fighter Squadrons.

The F-35A Lightning II is a US Air Force single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth aircraft intended for strike missions.

It also provides global precision attack capability against current and emerging threats and aids the Liberty Wing with a combination of low observability and multi-mission capability.

Two U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing perform a pass over Royal A

Two US Air Force F-35A Lightning IIs perform a pass over RAF Lakenheath on April 16, 2022 Picture: Staff Sgt. Dhruv Gopinath - Credit: 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The fighter jets join those that arrived at the base in December 2021. RAF Lakenheath was the first European airbase in the US Air Force to receive the newest fifth-generation aircraft.

In March of this year, RAF Lakenheath opened a support facility for F-35s. The centre is the first of its kind for the US Air Force in Europe and Africa.

The facility is the base's main operating centre for the F-35 support program.

It boasts 16 maintenance bays, covering 15,660 square feet, and houses 240 pieces of support equipment used for maintenance and inspection.