The RAF’s new F35 fighter jets have flown on operations for the first time, a significant milestone in their development, Sky News reported.
Alongside Typhoon aircraft, they took part in sorties over Iraq and Syria against Daesh but didn’t carry out any strikes.
The Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt described it as a “significant step into the future for the UK”.
“The F-35s are the most advanced jets our country has ever possessed and will form the backbone of British air defence for decades to come.”
The first missions were flown on Sunday, June 16, with 12 more sorties since then.
The aircraft have been based in Cyprus since late May for a training exercise.
“The pilots, crew and aircraft have exceeded all training objectives since deploying to Cyprus so it was only right that they made the next step on their journey,” said the UK Air Commander for the Middle East, Air Commodore Justin Reuter.
“The UK has played a vital role in liberating swathes of territory once subjected to Daesh’s cruel regime, and the deployment of our newest and most advanced jets signals our commitment to the enduring defeat Daesh in Iraq and Syria.”