The F-35B Lightning aircraft were flown across the Atlantic from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in the United States where the Royal Air Force has more of the jets and 150 personnel in training. The overall plan is to procure 138 jets.
The jets are capable of vertical landings and short take-offs and will be operated jointly by the Air Force and the Navy, forming a part of the carrier strike group. They will make their first landing on the UK Navy’s lead aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, this fall.
According to the report, the the aircraft continues to suffer from technical problems with its software, ejection seats, pilot helmets and other key components.
The program is projected to cost $400 billion for 2,457 jets, making it nearly $200 billion over budget. Estimates of the eventual total cost have run as high as $1.5 trillion, which would make the F-35 the most expensive piece of military hardware in history.