Denmark F-35 Lightning II production aircraft takes inaugural flight

11 March 2021 (Last Updated March 11th, 2021 14:09)

Denmark flew its first F-35 Lightning II production aircraft ‘L-001’ becoming the fifth European Nato nation to be armed with the F-35 fighter jet alongside the UK, the Netherlands, Norway and Italy.

Denmark F-35 Lightning II production aircraft takes inaugural flight
Denmark’s first F-35 takes to the air for its first flight. Credit: Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Denmark flew its first F-35 Lightning II production aircraft ‘L-001’ becoming the fifth European Nato nation to be armed with the F-35 fighter jet alongside the UK, the Netherlands, Norway and Italy.

The F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) is a stealthy, supersonic multirole fighter jet. It has been developed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company for the US airforce, navy and marine corps, as well as programme partners from Nato and US allies.

According to Lockheed Martin, the F-35 is ‘spearheading’ Nato’s airpower, and ensuring ‘strategic integration of allied combat airpower’.

The interoperability of the fifth-generation F-35 ‘binds’ 13 allies and other US partners in air dominance and allows critical joint capabilities.

Lockheed Martin noted that the F-35 will act as a ‘force multiplier’ for Denmark.

This allows the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) to train and fight alongside Nato allies while creating a strong ‘deterrent’.

F-35 acting vice-president and general manager Bill Brotherton said: “Achieving the first flight of Denmark’s first F-35 is major milestone for the Denmark F-35 programme and a testament to the outstanding abilities of our dedicated and highly trained joint industry and government team.

“This team’s focus on delivering the most effective, survivable and connected fighter in the world will ensure the sovereign protection of Denmark and strengthen allies and partners through the Nato F-35 coalition.”

The L-001 is scheduled to be delivered to the RDAF next month.

Later this year, it will be flown to Luke AFB in Arizona, US, for pilot and maintainer training.