[Photo] F-35 Integrated Test Force’s JSF in Formation with RAF Typhoons

A mixed F-35 Lightning II Eurofighter Typhoon formation could be more frequent in the future.

This image was taken on Apr. 4, 2014, near Edwards Air Force Base, California. It shows, an F-35 of the type’s Integrated Test Force flying in formation with two Eurofighter Typhoon jets of the Royal Air Force during an interoperability test.

A mixed formation of this kind, with the U.S. and Europe’s most advanced warplanes, is still quite rare, but it should be more frequent, at least in the UK and Italy, considered that both the Royal Air Force and the Italian Air Force are not only already flying the Typhoon, but have also plans to fly the F-35.

Actually, the future of the F-35 is a bit uncertain, at least in Italy: even if nothing has been decided yet, it’s hard to believe the current plan to buy 90 F-35 (from the initial 131 jets) to replace the aging fleet of Tornado IDS, AMX (Italian Air Force) and AV-8B+ (Italian Navy) will survive further cuts.

Image credit: Lockheed Martin

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.