Lockheed Martin has provided a F-35B cockpit simulator for the UK Navy personnel, as part of efforts to enable them to get familiarised with the capabilities of the future advanced fighter jet.
Powered by a single Pratt & Whitney F135 afterburner turbofan engine, Lockheed’s F-35B Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) is a single-engine, fifth generation fighter aircraft.
The F-35B cockpit demonstrator also offered visitors with an opportunity to fly the aircraft and meet some of the military pilots who are currently flying the aircraft.
The aircraft is capable of flying at a maximum speed of 1,960km/h and has combat radius and maximum range of 833km and 1,667km respectively.
During his visit to the demonstration, the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval staff admiral Sir George Zambellas also experienced being a pilot of the advanced fighter aircraft.
Zambellas said: "This was another opportunity to glimpse the impending arrival of the F35B fighter, whose stealth and capability will make it the world’s most advanced fighter.
"But we also had the chance to see some world-beating British technology – from ejector seats and fuel probes, to engines and brakes, the UK’s aeronautical heritage lives on in the design and manufacture of the F35B."
The UK initially ordered four F-35B Lightning II to be deployed on the new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.
The aircraft is expected to come in to service in 2018 as part of its carrier enabled power projection capability and combat air fleet.
Since 2012, the RAF and Royal Navy have been operating the F-35B in the US as part of the Introduction into Service programme.
The first operational squadron is scheduled to form in 2016 and start training in the US.
Image: F-35B cockpit simulator offered visitors with the unique opportunity of flying the aircraft and seeing its capabilities first hand. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.