First Norwegian F-35 nears completion

The very first Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II for the Royal Norwegian Air Force is nearing completion. Last week, the aircraft was moved from the production facility to the paint facility in Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth factory. Roll out of the aircraft is expected to take place on 22 September.

The aircraft is the first of up to 52 Norwegian F-35s, of which four are now in various stages of production. Two of those are to be delivered this year. They will be flown to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona to join the US Air Force’s 62nd Fighter Squadron. This unit is responsible for training US, Italian and Norwegian F-35 pilots. The first Norwegian pilot will start training later this year.

In 2017, the first F-35 is expected in Norway. In 2019, the new 5th generation fighter jet will take over duties from the current Norwegian F-16s for the first time.

© 2015 editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: Still unpainted: the forst F-35 for Norway. (Image © Kampflyprogrammet / Lockheed Martin/ Twitter)