OSLO, (BM) – According to the Norwegian Air Force command, another batch of three F-35A Lightning-2 fighters purchased in the USA arrived at the Erland Air Force Base, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
Thus, the total number of aircraft arriving in Norway increased to 18. Another seven Norwegian F-35As have so far been deployed at Luke Air Force Base (Arizona), where they are used to train Norwegian Air Force flight and technical personnel.
As TsAMTO [news agency – ed.] reported, in November 2008, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense announced the selection of the F-35 Lightning-2 as the winner of the tender for the supply of new generation fighters for the country’s air force to replace 57 obsolete F-16s, which are expected to be withdrawn from service in 2022 year. Ultimately, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense plans to get up to 52 new F-35A. Estimated purchase value is 83.3 billion kroons (about 8.33 billion dollars).
The first Norwegian Air Force F-35 fighter was received at a ceremony held on September 22, 2015 at a facility in Fort Worth, Texas. The first three F-35A fighter aircraft landed at the Orland airbase on November 3, 2017. From this point on, the Norwegian Air Force tests and evaluates the F-35A in Norway. The following shipments arrived at the Orland base in May and September 2018, May and September 2019. F-35A aircraft are part of the 332th fighter squadron located at the Erland base.
The Norwegian Air Force command on November 6, 2019 announced that the F-35A Lightning-2 fighter fleet had reached the state of initial readiness for combat use. The Air Force command plans to announce the complete readiness of the aircraft for combat use in 2025.
Norwegian fighters have already taken part under the auspices of NATO in the operation of patrolling the airspace of Iceland. By 2022, the Norwegian Air Force will have a sufficient number of F-35s, as well as trained pilots and technicians, which will allow Norwegian aircraft to take on a “quick response” mission.
According to the approved plans, from 2018, the Norwegian Air Force should receive 6 new F-35s per year until 2024. The life of the F-35 is tentatively estimated at 40 years.
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