“The US Air Force will permanently base the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in Europe and the secretary of defense has selected RAF Lakenheath in the United Kingdom as the first location to host two squadrons of F-35s,” Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Derek Chollet said at a press conference.
The F-35s placement will lead to more collaboration, training and support opportunities between the US and the United Kingdom, the Defense Department said.
The F-35 is a single engine advanced fighter plane combining air-to-ground and air-to-air operational capability with stealth technology. The nearly $400 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program is largely funded by the United States.
The United States plans to buy 2,443 F-35s while the 10 allied countries will purchase 721 fighters, according to the plane’s producer Lockheed Martin.