Royal Navy resurrects 809 Squadron as first F-35B unit

Washington DC
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The UK is resurrecting the Royal Navy's 809 Naval Air Squadron to fly the Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. The unit is expected to operate the fifth-generation combat aircraft from the UK's new Queen Elizabeth-class carrier starting in 2018 according to Lockheed.

"I am delighted to announce that the name of the second Lightning II squadron, when it forms, will be 809 Naval Air Squadron," says Adm Sir George Zambellas, First Sea Lord. "This squadron number is chosen to link with and reflect the proud and distinguished history of embarked carrier strike, from the Second World War to the Falklands."

The F-35B squadron will be jointly operated by personnel from the navy's Fleet Air Arm and the Royal Air Force. "The early naming of 809 alongside the RAF's 617 'Dambusters' Squadron is a very visible demonstration of a joint ambition, spirit of collaboration and shared equity in the Joint Lightning Force," Zambellas says.