Three F-35B aircraft—two Marine Corps and one British—will deploy to the Farnborough Airshow outside London and the preceding Royal International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire, England, in July, said Lockheed Martin F-35 Vice President Lorraine Martin. This marks the first time an F-35 of any variant has participated in an international airshow. “It will be a great opportunity to practice” deployment skills, Martin told reporters at a company-sponsored media day on June 9 in Arlington Va. The aircraft will likely make the trip from NAS Patuxent River, Md., refueled en route by KC-10 tankers. The team deploying will have to take spare parts, enough pilots and maintainers, and elements of the ALIS maintenance system to turn the aircraft for a combined eight flying demonstrations. The show routine is expected to be quite similar to that flown by the AV-8B Harrier, with a high- and low-speed pass, slowdown to hover, rapid acceleration, and flyaway. The cost of displaying the aircraft will be borne collectively by Lockheed Martin, the Marine Corps, and Britain, said Martin. It counts as a “US military deployment” for the purposes of cost bookkeeping, she said.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.