To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether representations are being made to the United States Department of Defense to ensure that the certification and testing process for the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter is adequate to ensure that it is ready for full operational deployment.
Mr Philip Dunne
The UK is fully engaged with the US Department of Defense to ensure that testing of the F-35B will generate the necessary data to enable UK certification of the air system.
UK personnel observed the US Marine Corps trials on board USS Wasp in May 2015 and gained valuable experience of operating the F-35B at sea. This knowledge, along with a dedicated programme of trials will be used to certify the F-35B for use on the UK's new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.
UK certification of the F-35B is an ongoing process, and is planned to deliver the necessary clearances to support the UK's carrier strike Initial Operating Capability from QUEEN ELIZABETH during 2018.