USA USAF LN F 35A 640With Lakenheath's first F-35As arriving, multiple milestones will be set

Several Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighters will be based at RAF Lakenheath (UK) before the end of this year. The recently erected 495th Fighter Squadron, part of Lakenheath's 48th Fighter Wing, will be USAF's first unit that will operate the F-35A from outside the Continental United States (CONUS).

The much publicised plan, see Scramble Magazine news item of 30 April 2021, was that the first 495th FS/48th FW F-35 will be 19-5474 (c/n AF-302). The 495th Fighter Squadron's motto 'Mala Ipsa Nova' or 'Bad News Itself', seems to be useful in responding to this.

Last week two LN coded F-35As were seen testflying from Lockheed Martin's plant at Fort Worth (TX). These included the above mentioned serial and 19-5473 (c/n AF-301).

USA USAF 495th FS patch 320Strikingly, AF-301 will be the 300th USAF F-35 to be delivered. Analysing the Scramble database, c/n AF-05 was canceled for unknown reasons and not taken up. Therefore the USAF F-35A construction numbers are not coinciding. Lakenheath, as the first overseas base for the F-35A, will definitely see USAF's 300th Lightning II arriving in due time.

Photo by USAF / credit patch:

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