The first F-35A aircraft are battle ready, according to the US military. Norway will buy up to 52 combat aircraft of this type.
Armed Forces announces that the first squadron is battle ready and this is regarded as a milestone. The rollout of the plane has been delayed and affected by cost overruns.
The twelve fighters are stationed at an air base in Utah. They have undergone tests and exercises and have now been approved for combat. The sources at the Military does not say when the squadron may be sent into battle, but says that the planes probably may be sent to foreign countries early in 2017.
The production of the planes was completed in September last year, and Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide (H) attended the ceremony when Norway’s first F-35A fighter was rolled out of the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth in Texas. Norway will buy up to 52 F-35A aircraft with weapons and equipment. From 2019 onwards the F-35A will gradually take over tasks from the F-16, according to the defense ministry.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today