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In response to the announcement that the F-35 Lighting II aircraft will be flying at the Farnborough International Airshow, Amanda Stainer, Commercial Director for show organisers Farnborough International Ltd said, ‘We are delighted that the news has now been confirmed after weeks of speculation. We are incredibly pleased that the UK MoD and the US DoD have chosen the event to showcase the aircraft.’

She further added. “The JSF and F-35 programme has seen participation from nine partner countries including the United Kingdom. FIA will provide the perfect venue for many of the global supply chain companies involved in the programme to showcase their expertise”.

FIL Chief Executive, Shaun Ormrod also commented, “The F-35 Lighting II is one of the most advanced aircraft to be developed for a very long time and will create a great deal of interest at the show.”

The F-35 Lighting II’s presence at FIA14 also mark’s a unique aviation first with the aircraft’s VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) predecessor, the Harrier, also being present at the show. Speaking about the occasion, Shaun Ormrod said, “The Harrier has played a distinct role in modern aviation history, a hero of the Falklands War and a superb example of aviation technology. The opportunity to see the last and next generation of vertical thrust aircraft at the same venue marks a milestone in aviation history.”

Defence Secretary, Sir Philip Hammond announced yesterday that the F-35 Lighting II will make its international debut in the UK at the FIA2014 and RIAT. The decision to fly the combat aircraft outside of the United States for the first time, following discussions between Philip Hammond and his US counterpart, Secretary Hagel, is a further demonstration of the progress with the Lightning II programme. The selection of two UK airshows also demonstrates the significant role that Britain has in the programme. Approximately 15 per cent of every aircraft is built in the UK.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said, “The US and the UK have worked closely together on the F-35 project from the beginning. We are the only country that is a first tier partner in the project, which is sustaining tens of thousands of jobs in the UK. This fifth generation stealth combat aircraft will be a major boost to British combat air power and it is entirely fitting that the F-35’s first stop outside the United States will be in the UK.”

The F-35 will be making demonstration flights at both trade show and the public weekend. The Harrier comes to show from the Spanish Navy.