F-35 stealth jet to take off from HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth today
A SUPERSONIC stealth jet is to take off from a £3.1bn aircraft carrier in Portsmouth today, the Royal Navy has confirmed.
In an historic first for the city, an F-35B will fly from the flight deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth at 12.30pm.
The jet, which costs about £80m, arrived in Portsmouth earlier this month after being ferried across the Atlantic.
The state-of-the-art warplane had been among six UK-owned jets based on the warship during her trials off the eastern coast of America.
However, the stealth jet suffered with a mechanical hitch which meant it was unable to fly back across the Atlantic to the the F-35’s base at RAF Marham, in Norfolk.
In a tweet from HMS Queen Elizabeth’s official Twitter account, the Royal Navy said: ‘Portsmouth apologies for the noise: Standby for the first alongside fixed wing flight from us – and indeed the first launch of a #UKF35 in UK waters. Planned launch at 1230 subject to conditions.’
The F-35b is the most advanced jet in the world.
It is capable of travelling faster than the speed of sound.
Hi-tech kit allows the F-35 to evade even the most sophisticated radar systems.
The jets can also hover when they land, similar to the former Harrier jump jets.
The engines of the warplanes are exceedingly loud and could potentially crack windows, sources have warned The News.
The jets will be based on both HMS Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales – which was last week commissioned into the Royal Navy – when they deploy.