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04:07 AM, January 31, 2019
First Operational F-35A Lightning II Fighter for Netherlands Unveiled
F-35 Lightning II

Lockheed Martin has unveiled the first operational F-35A Lightning II combat aircraft built for Netherlands in Texas.

The fifth generation fighter will be delivered to the Dutch country later this year, Lt. Gen. Dennis Luyt, Commander, Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) said.

"From the very beginning of the F-35 program, the Netherlands has provided assistance in developing, testing, improving, and maintaining the aircraft," Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO said.

"Dutch suppliers have provided production, structural-design support and advanced technologies; and Dutch aircraft and personnel continue to support ongoing testing and operations for the worldwide F-35 fleet. Netherlands will serve as a sustainment hub in the European region for maintenance, repair, overhaul, and upgrade projects," Hewson added.

The aircraft is scheduled to ferry to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona for pilot training, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

The aircraft is the first operational F-35 and the third Netherlands jet delivered to date. The first two Dutch F-35s were delivered in 2013 and are at Edwards AFB, California, supporting operational testing.

The RNLAF plans to acquire 37 F-35As.

The F-35 Lightning II fighter jet combines advanced stealth with speed and agility with a host of modern advances like network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.

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