Two F-35A Lightning II fighter jets landed on Monday May 23 at Leeuwarden Air Force Base in the northern Netherlands, that reported byairrecognition.com.
The F-35A jets , built by the US-based defense giant Lockheed Martin, are to form the mainstay of the Dutch fighter fleet for the next five decades.
Designated “AN-1” and “AN-2”, the planes will undergo tests before returning to Edwards Air Force Base in California. “This is a first for the Netherlands,” Hennis-Plasschaert told the press after meeting the pilots on the tarmac.
The F-35s will carry out at least eight flights to test the effects of engine sound on the environment as well as their adaptability to hangars at Dutch air bases, Royal Dutch Air Force spokesman Frank den Edel said.
The planes will also be on display to the public for the first time in Europe at an air show at Leeuwarden next month, ahead of the world-renowned Farnborough International Air Show in July.
The Netherlands has ordered 37 of the planes at a total cost of around US$5.0 billion to replace its ageing fleet of F-16 fighters, according to Dutch newspaper reports, and they are scheduled for delivery by 2019.