WASHINGTON – The Pentagon has begun deploying Europe’s first squadron of fifth-generation Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighters. It will be based in the UK at the Royal Air Force base in Lakenheath in the east of the country, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Defense Express. The US Air Force has activated the 495th Tactical Fighter Squadron after a 30-year hiatus.
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To this end, the 495th Tactical Fighter Squadron, part of the 48th Fighter Regiment of the United States Air Force, was activated. In total, the unit is to receive 27 F-35 units and will be on combat duty for the first time from 1991 to the end of this year.
At the same time, the Pentagon plans to further increase the number of F-35s at air bases in Europe. In particular, the number of these aircraft in Lakekenhit alone should be 48 units.
It should also be noted that the deployment of American F-35s in Europe is delayed: due to problems with Lockheed Martin with the production of fighters, the deadline was postponed by almost a year.
At the same time this summer, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Todd Walters, said that the number of F-35s in the Air Force of the Allies in Europe by 2030 should be 450 units.
Poland also bought an F-35
Poland is the other European country, a member of the EU and NATO, to decide to buy US F-35 Lightning fighters from Lockheed Martin.
Some Polish media disclose information about a deal with the United States for the supply of F-35 fighters. It may well turn out that Washington will supply the fifth generation of fighters without weapons, as we reported last year.
Military observer Zbigniew Lentovic writes that the Polish Ministry of Defense will spend approximately 144 million dollars per combat unit.
This fact and some other hints allowed the observer to assume that the contract is not so simple. Most likely, he reflects, the United States will give Poland virtually empty planes, that is, without weapons.
As we reported in September, during the XXIX International Exhibition for the Defense Industry [MSPO] in Kielce, the American company Kratos Defense & Security Solutions offered the Polish Air Force XQ-58A Valkyrie unmanned aerial vehicles.
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