Representing today's modern and highly capable Royal Air Force, the Eurofighter Typhoon now performs the same interceptor role as that previously carried out by the famous Spitfires and Hurricanes of the Battle of Britain, protecting Britain's skies from unauthorised incursion. With RAF bases at Coningsby and Lossiemouth maintaining around the clock Quick Reaction Alert cover for the country 365 days a year, any potential hostile aircraft incursion is immediately challenged by one of the world's most capable fighting aeroplanes. In order to effectively maintain the security and defence of the United Kingdom, the RAF continues to evolve by the introduction of ever more capable aircraft types, which most recently saw the arrival of the first of 138 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning multi-role aircraft.
A fifth generation combat aircraft, the F-35 can perform a wide variety of mission profiles, utilising the latest stealth technology and operating in conjunction with the Eurofighter Typhoon. With Britain selecting the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35, these aircraft will have the ability to operate from standard airfields, or from the decks of Britain's two new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers, as well as working as part of a cohesive international force in conjunction with other NATO nations. The RAF's F-35 will actually be the third aircraft to carry the name Lightning, after the previous P-38 and English Electric fighters.