Two US-assembled F-35A fighter jets landed in the Netherlands on Monday, ahead of the stealthy plane's European air show debut over the summer.
The Lockheed Martin-built Lightning II jets, which are to form the mainstay of the Dutch fighter fleet for the next five decades, landed at Leeuwarden Air Force Base in the northern Netherlands on Monday night, AFP reported.
Also known as Joint Strike Fighters (JSF), the sleek planes were escorted by a business jet with Dutch Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert on board after an eight-hour flight from the eastern United States which included multiple in-flight refuelings.
Designated "AN-1" and "AN-2", the planes will undergo tests before returning to Edwards Air Force Base in California.
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.
"This is the first time an F-35A touched down in northen Europe," Lockheed Martin's F-35 spokesman Michael Rein told AFP.