Norway is set to double it’s F-35 fleet over the next few weeks with the delivery of the third and fourth aircraft to the Royal Norwegian Air Force. In fact, the delivery means that Norway suddenly becomes the third largest operator of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.
The two aircraft are now being tested by Lockheed Martin prior to delivery. Both jets will then fly to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, joining the two Norwegian aircraft already there for pilot training. With the delivery, Norway becomes the third largest user of the F-35, following the US and the UK. The Nordic country is eventually looking for 55 F-35As, with 23 aircraft already formally ordered.
However, Italy should soon receive its fourth aircraft as well. The aircraft is currently being readied for delivery at the F-35 Final Assembly & Check Out (FACO) facility in Cameri, Italy. Earlier Italian aircraft have also began to arrive at Luke for training purposes.
Meanwhile, one of two Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) jets that deployed to Europe in May, is now also at Luke. The aircraft arrived their for modifications and maintenance.
© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35, seen here at Luke. (Image © Elmer van Hest)