No F-35s at Royal International Air Tattoo after delays

Fans will be disappointed as a highlight of the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford, Gloucestershire, the launch of RAF’s new F-35s, has been postponed after an engine fire in the United States.

The planes’ development cost £230bn and is the most expensive aero-defence in US history. The construction of the jets involves over 500 British companies and employs over 2,000 people.

US based firm, Lockheed Martin is leading the construction, but has been hit by repeated delays and cost overruns. The order for the planes has cost the UK government £2.5bn so far and BAE Systems has invested £150m in facilities that will build the rear part of the fuselage and tail fins.

It’s hoped that the planes will be ready for the Farnborough Air Show on Monday July 14. Richard Aboulafia, a military analyst at Teal Group said: “If the F-35 doesn’t make it to the show it’s quite embarrassing. It will jeopardise the timing of export orders.”