The 2016 Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), a global military airshow held each year at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England, takes place July 8-10, 2016. For more, visit http://www.airtattoo.com/.
Visitors to the Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford will be the first outside the U.S. to see the stealthy, supersonic aircraft's state-of-the-art capabilities when it displays on all three days of the airshow.
"The F-35s are the most advanced fast jets in the world. Whether operating from land or from one of our two new aircraft carriers - the UK's largest ever - they will ensure we have a cutting edge and formidable fighting force,” U.K. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon says.
"The plan for F-35 aircraft to take part in air shows here in the UK this summer is a significant milestone - for our RAF and Royal Navy personnel training hard to fly the F-35; for British industry who are contributing an impressive 15 per cent of every aircraft; and for the British public who will have their first opportunity to see this remarkable aircraft in action," Fallon adds.
Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to speed the purchase of 24 of the multi-role combat aircraft; if successful, two front-line squadrons will be operating from the U.K.'s two new aircraft carriers by 2023.
Air Tattoo organizers anticipate that examples of the F-35B, the short take-off/vertical landing version, will demonstrate the Harrier-like 'hover' capability required for operation from austere land bases and aircraft carriers.
"No doubt, the sight of F-35s in the sky will be quite common for future generations but this summer, all those who attend our airshow will enjoy a first glimpse of that future,” says Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong. “Over the years, the Air Tattoo has featured the UK and European debuts of some of the world's most iconic aircraft but few will have been as important to the UK's future defense capability than the F-35. I am sure many people will want to join us to witness this piece of aviation history being made."
"The US Marine Corps is looking forward to demonstrating capabilities of the F-35B Lightning II in the skies over the United Kingdom this July," Lt. Gen. Davis, U.S. Marine Corps Deputy Commander for Aviation, adds.
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