The First Operational F-35A Lightning II for the Needs of the RNLAF Was Celebrated
FORT WORTH, Texas, the USA (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Yesterday (30 January 2019) Lockheed Martin revealed in a press release that Dutch and U.S. officials celebrated the roll out of the first operational F-35A Lightning II for the needs of the RNLAF (Royal Netherlands Air Force) in a ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s F-35 production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, learned BulgarianMilitary.com
Lt. Gen. Dennis Luyt, Commander, RNLAF, commented, “Receiving this F-35 at Leeuwarden Air Base later this year is going to be a huge driver for change for our Air Force and will have tremendous impact on the relevance of our Air Force as part of the coalition,” and added, “We want to be among the best air forces of the world, and the platform of F-35 allows us to do that.”
Besides Lt. Gen. Dennis Luyt, the event was also attended by various distinguished government, military and industry guests, including Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO; Mona Keijzer, State Secretary, the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs; and Maxime Verhagen, Special Envoy F-35, the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The Chairman of Lockheed Martin Marillyn Hewson said, “From the very beginning of the F-35 program, the Netherlands has been a key partner in developing, testing, improving, and maintaining this remarkable aircraft. Dutch suppliers have provided high-volume production, structural-design support, and advanced technologies, and Dutch aircraft and personnel continue to support ongoing testing and operations for the worldwide F-35 fleet,” and underlined, “As we look to the future, the Netherlands will serve as a sustainment hub in the European region for maintenance, repair, overhaul, and upgrade projects.”
That aircraft is the first operational F-35 and the third Dutch fighter delivered as of the moment. The first two F-35s were delivered in 2013. Presently they are at Edwards AFB, California, where they support operational testing.
The plans of the RNLAF include acquisition of thirty-seven 37 F-35A fighters.
The F-35 Lightning II of Lockheed Martin is a family of single-seat, single-engined, all-weather stealth multirole fighters. The fifth-generation combat aircraft is developed for ground-attack and air-superiority missions. Its main models are three: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, the F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant, and the F-35C carrier-based catapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) variant. The F-35 stealth technology, supersonic speed, weapons capacity and increased range, advanced sensors, make that fighter the most advanced, survivable and connected aircraft in the world.
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Source: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Wikipedia