Topical Questions

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 2nd September 2013.

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Photo of Philip Hammond Philip Hammond The Secretary of State for Defence 2:30 pm, 2nd September 2013

As my hon. Friend says, I am delighted to confirm that a British-piloted F-35B—the short take-off and vertical landing version of the F-35 aircraft—has completed a successful landing on USS Wasp, which was, I think, off the coast of Virginia. We have a programme of embedded UK pilots training with US navy marines on those aircraft. Progress is good on that programme, and we expect the first squadron of aircraft to come to the UK fully formed in 2018, with pilots who have been trained and prepared in the United States.