Royal Navy aviators arrive in Cyprus as HMS Queen Elizabeth jets land

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ROYAL Navy aviators have touched down in Cyprus for six weeks of intensive training with Britain’s most advanced jet.

Several F-35B Lightning stealth jets – the main weapon of the nation’s new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers – will be pushed to their limits during Exercise Lightning Dawn.

HMS Queen Elizabeth. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

HMS Queen Elizabeth. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

It’s the first time British Lightnings have been taken overseas after arriving in the UK last summer. Since then the jets – under the banner of legendary RAF 617 Squadron, but flown and maintained jointly by Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm personnel – have been gradually honing individual and collective combat skills.

The training will see the jets unleashing some of their firepower during live-fire exercises, while pilots develop their individual and squadron tactics.

Once the exercise is completed, the F-35s will return to their base in Marham before flying to the USA on their autumn deployment.