To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Fleet Air Arm pilots of F35B Sea Lightnings are currently fully trained; how many are undergoing training; and how many will be fully qualified when (1) HMS Queen Elizabeth, and (2) HMS Prince of Wales, commissions.
8 February 2016
There is currently one Fleet Air Arm pilot fully trained on the F-35B Lighting II aircraft, with two undergoing training, and this is exactly where we expected to be at this stage of the programme. Over the next 3-4 years, as jointly agreed by the Royal Navy and the RAF, the F-35B programme will train sufficient RAF and Fleet Air Arm Lightning II pilots to deliver a carrier strike initial operating capability in 2020.
The noble Lord will wish to be aware that 'F-35B Lightning II' is the designation jointly agreed by the First Sea Lord and the Chief of the Air Staff.