British fighter jets will be deployed in Cyprus later this year, the first overseas mission for the F-35B.
While the British ministry of defence plans to buy a total of 138 of the jets, there are currently only 17 in use.
The use of the multi-million jets in Cyprus will allow members of the RAF and Britain’s navy to experience flying in an unfamiliar environment.
“This deployment marks an important milestone in this game-changing aircraft’s journey to becoming fully operational,” Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said.
Even though they will be deployed from Akrotiri, the home base for the new jets is in the UK.
The jets will be brought to the island on aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth at some point in the autumn, another important milestone to “prove their readiness”, the Press Association quoted Chief of naval staff Admiral Sir Philip Jones as saying.
The F-35 is the first to combine radar-evading stealth technology with supersonic speeds and the ability to conduct short take-offs and vertical landings, the MoD said.
It has the ability to operate from land and sea.
The first of the F-35s touched down in the UK in June 2018, and it was announced in January that they are ready to be deployed on operations.