F-35 completes first military mission
The RAF's new F-35 Lightning fighter jet has completed its first official mission, defence secretary Penny Mordaunt has confirmed.
The aircraft flew alongside Typhoons on operational flights over Syria and Iraq as part of the ongoing battle against the so-called Islamic State - dubbed Operation Shader - last month.
It came after the F-35s performed exceptionally well during training in Cyprus, with the eventual 'real-world' debut coming from RAF Akrotiri.
Ms Mordaunt said the F-35s are the most advanced jets the country has ever possessed.
"They have passed every test their training has thrown at them with flying colours and their first real operational mission is a significant step into the future for the UK," she added.
The Lightning is the first ever aircraft to combine radar-evading stealth technology with supersonic speeds and vertical landing capability. Britain currently owns 17, with plans to build more over the coming years.