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F-35 combat jet to be displayed at two UK air shows in 2016

A F-35 Lightning II aircraft Image copyright Jamie Hunter
Image caption The UK will have 24 of the fighter jets available on two new aircraft carriers by 2023

New dates have been set for the first UK displays of the jet due to be used on Britain's new aircraft carriers.

The F-35 Lightning II will appear at the Royal International Air Tattoo and Farnborough Air Show in July, the US Air Force has announced.

It was due to be shown at the 2014 events but was cancelled days before after the entire fleet was grounded in the US following an engine fire.

The RAF says the aircraft will place it at the forefront of fighter technology.

Image copyright Lockheed Martin
Image caption A pair of US Air Force F-35's will be flown over from Arizona for the displays

In November, Chancellor George Osborne outlined plans for Britain to speed up its purchase of the new fighter jets.

The UK will have 24 aircraft available on two new aircraft carriers by 2023.

Two of the jets which are stationed at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona will be flown over for both air shows.

Visitors to the Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire "will be the first outside the US to see the stealthy, supersonic aircraft's state-of-the-art capabilities", event organisers say.

Andy Armstrong, chief executive, said: "No doubt, the sight of F-35s in the sky will be quite common for future generations but this summer, all those who attend our air show will enjoy a first glimpse of that future.

"Over the years, the Air Tattoo has featured the UK and European debuts of some of the world's most iconic aircraft but few will have been as important to the UK's future defence capability as the F-35."

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