The Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) has received the first three F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft, which will increase the service’s operational capability in the future.

The aircraft took off from Fort Worth in Texas, US, and landed at Ørland Air Base in Norway on 3 November.

F-35 programme director major general Morten Klever said: “On 10 November, Norway will celebrate first aircraft arrival of the first three F-35s on Norwegian soil.”

The Norwegian Ministry of Defence intends to procure up to 52 F-35s for the country’s armed forces.

Starting next year, Norway will receive six aircraft annually up until and in 2024.

In 2015, Norway officially rolled out its first F-35A Lightning II at Lockheed Martin’s F-35 production facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Norway started testing a drag parachute brake system for the F-35 Lightning II in April.

“The Norwegian Ministry of Defence intends to procure up to 52 F-35s for the country’s armed forces.”

Brake chute testing will be carried out in two phases using the AF-2 test aircraft specially developed for this purpose. A brake chute reduces the speed of an aircraft after it lands.

Phase I of the testing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, US, involves evaluating how the F-35 behaves in the air with a fitted drag chute and how the chute acts on dry and wet runways.

During Phase II, the pilot will test the drag chute on an icy runway at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, US.

Testing of the brake chute will continue for the next year.