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F-35 Aircraft

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN HL5553, tabled on 27 January 2016

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.

Answered on

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.