News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

The moment an F-35 Lightning passes over Hawarden airfield for the first time – as filmed by the police helicopter crew

A fighter jet that will help secure hundreds of jobs in the region and pump billions of pounds into the economy made its first appearance over Hawarden Airport this week. 

Many people heard a noisy jet perform a low pass over the airfield on Wednesday afternoon, but few managed to grab a photograph of the surprise appearance of an F-35 Lightning.

The visit of the a cutting-edge fighter jet was however caught on video by the crew of National Police Air Service helicopter based at the airport.

The footage of the F-35 Lightning was captured using the helicopters onboard camera. 

A post on from the @NPASHawarden Twitter account today stated:

“Good morning from your day crew. A bit of a wet one for us today with a chance of thunderstorms this afternoon.

One of our TFO’s managed to capture an F35 over our base the other day… I can assure you we’re not trying to get a missile lock on.” 

[Click image below for the video]

Costing over £93m each the multi-role F35 fighter jet is the first to combine radar evading stealth technology with supersonic speeds and short take-off and vertical landing capability.

MOD Sealand site is the global repair hub for the cutting-edge fighter, providing crucial maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade services for F-35 avionics, electronic and electrical components, fuel, mechanical and hydraulic systems.

The F-35 maintenance programme will generate millions of pounds and support thousands of jobs in North Wales.

Over the lifetime of the programme, components for hundreds of European-based F-35 aircraft will be serviced and maintained in Deeside, the contract is reported to be worth £2bn.

MOD Sealand in North Wales – recently won a second contract worth £500m to repair the aircraft’s components.

It is projected that around £35 billion will be contributed to the UK economy through the F-35 programme, with around 25,000 British jobs also being supported.

A second F-35 Lightning fighter jet squadron arrived in the UK this week.

[Picture Credit: RAF]

UK Defence Minister Mark Lancaster welcomed the arrival of a second training squadron of F-35 Lightning jets to RAF Marham, including the UK’s 18th jet.

According to a statement released by Royal Air Force, six of the cutting-edge aircraft took the 10-hour flight from MCAS Beaufort in South Carolina.

The formation included the UK’s 18th Lightning fighter jet, demonstrating the UK’s progress towards meeting the projected order of 138 aircraft over the life of the program.

207 Squadron will formally stand up on 1 August 2019 and the first F-35 pilot course at RAF Marham is due to commence in early-September.

617 Dambusters Squadron arrived at their new permanent home last year and completed their first operational mission in the fight against Daesh in June.

 
If you are on Twitter you can follow the team at NPAS Hawarden here: https://twitter.com/NPASHawarden

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