23 July 2018
Reuters reports that the Lockheed Martin F-35 is arriving in “growing numbers in Europe,” and is “poised to play a much broader role in missile defense and other warfare plans than conventional fighters, according to US and European officials.” According to US Air Force and NATO air forces Commander Gen. Tod Wolters, the fighter’s advanced sensors will allow it to play a larger role in warfighting domains, including missile defense, than its predecessors. Britain, Italy, and Norway will have received 40 F-35s by the end of the year, with the Netherlands receiving aircraft in 2019. In an interview before the Farnborough Airshow, Wolters called the F-35 a “game-changing system,” adding that NATO is “in the process of integrating the F-35 into the complete environment, not just the airspace.” Wolters added that buying countries are working “feverishly” to ensure that the fighter is integrated into its communication systems. At the airshow, Wolters called it one of the F-35 program’s “bigger mistakes” to term the aircraft a fighter due to its broad capabilities. According to Norwegian Air Force Chief of Staff Tonje Skinnarland, “All the European operators of the F-35 are committed to learn from each other and to move as fast as we can.” (Image Credit: US Air Force Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen via Wikipedia)
More Info (Reuters)