The US Air Force F-35A arrived in the Middle East on April the 15th.

The F-35A Lightning IIs are from active duty 388th and reserve 419th Fighter Wings at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

“We are adding a cutting edge weapons system to our arsenal that significantly enhances the capability of the coalition,” said Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, US Air Forces Central Command commander.

“The sensor fusion and survivability this aircraft provides to the joint force will enhance security and stability across the theater and deter aggressors. The F-35A is designed with the entire battlespace in mind, and is intended to fuse, integrate and share data with other battlefield assets.

It has one of the most powerful and comprehensive integrated sensor packages. It improves lethality, survivability and adaptability against emerging threats in order to maintain air superiority.”

US Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, said in a release.

“The F-35A provides our nation air dominance in any threat. When it comes to having a ‘quarterback’ for the coalition joint force, the inter-operable F-35A is clearly the aircraft for the leadership role.”

The F-35A has previously deployed to Royal Air Force Lakenheath in April 2017, as well as the US Pacific Command area of responsibility in the autumn of 2017.

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Daniele Mandelli

Let the blood letting on here concerning B vs A for the UK recommence.
Seconds out..round 12.


Not blood letting…. But a question. Could ASRAAM conceptually be carried internally in greater numbers in an ‘A’ than Meteor in a ‘B’ for the day 1 air dominance role.

Steps back awaits…..


David Branney

Hmm, possibly, as the A can load a 2000lb bomb in each bay, whilst the B can only load 1000lb. Which means the A has a deeper bomb bay compared to the A. So theoretically, yes it could carry more ASRAAMs internally. It would require a new release mechanism though.

Alan Garner

I don’t think you’d be wanting to rely on short range IR ASRAAM over BVR Meteor on day one however many you have.

Alex T

There are some of us who, from long experience, prefer a ‘B’ to an ‘A’.


Maybe we will buy some C’s along with cats and traps.


Is it the A variant that the USA is basing in Britain? It would make sense basing some of the B variant so they can work closer with our carrier battle group.

Daniele Mandelli



The long time 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath is getting 2 Squadrons of F35A to replace the F15’s.

Their B’s operate with their USMC who as far as I’m aware have no presence in the UK. I guess they would just self deploy to the QEC from the States as required.


Thanks again DM ?

Daniele Mandelli

Interesting link Helions thank you.

Lots going on behind the scenes and beneath the waves I suspect.

Interesting the mention of the F35 being used to take down Ballistic missiles.


It may/would appear, that Trump is looking at dealing with Iran before his first term in office expires!
We also get a good indicator that the crash off mainland Japan probably wasn’t due to inherent technical issues, even though it’s early days.


Where in the Middle East? Unless I missed something in the article.


Replying to my own Q, from elsewhere: Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates