BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:45 A.M.) – Another batch of F-35 Lightning II fighters arrived at the Ireland Air Force Base in Norway, according to the Norwegian Air Force Command.
According to the website, “Bulgaren Meltari”, the total number of aircraft coming to Norway has increased to 18, and seven other Norwegian F-35s have been deployed so far at the Luke Air Force Base (Arizona), where they are used to train the Norwegian Air Force personnel and technicians.
In 2018, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense announced the selection of the second F-35 Lightning aircraft in a tender to supply the country with a new generation of fighters for the country’s air force, and to replace their 57 F-16s, which are expected to be withdrawn from service in 2022.
The F-35 Lightning is newest of the fifth-generation fighters, and is a stealthy multi-tasking air superior combat fighter, with high maneuverability and a single seat and single engine.
The maximum speed of this aircraft can reach 1930 km per hour, and its range exceeds 2220 km without refueling.
The Norwegian Ministry of Defense is finally planning to acquire up to 52 new F-35 Lightning aircraft, with an estimated purchase value of $8.33 billion.
The first Norwegian F-35 fighter was received at a ceremony on September 22, 2015 at a facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
The first three F-35 Lightning combat aircraft landed at the Orlando Air Force Base in 2017, and the following shipments arrived at the Orlando base in 2018 and 2019.
The Norwegian Air Force Command announced on November 6, 2019 that the F-35 Lightning II fighter fleet has reached initial combat readiness, and the Air Force Command is planning to announce the aircraft’s full readiness for combat use in 2025.
By 2022, the Norwegian Air Force will have enough F-35s, as well as trained pilots and technicians.
According to the approved plans, from 2018, the Norwegian Air Force must receive 6 new F-35s annually until 2024, and the F-35 is initially estimated to be 40 years old.