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​The F-35 is Coming to the Netherlands

Netherlands Ministry of Defence // May 18, 2016

Preparations for the arrival of the F-35 are in full swing. According to the current timetable, the aircraft will arrive in the Netherlands during the evening of Monday 23 May. The F-35 will depart from Edwards Air Force Base in California, operating base for the Dutch F-35 detachment. Tests are being carried out at the American test base to see how the F-35 performs in various operational scenarios, both individually and in combination with other weapon systems.

Two F-35s are scheduled to make the crossing to Europe. Before crossing the Atlantic, the aircraft will land at Pax River Naval Base in Maryland, after which two KDC-10 transport aircraft will escort the F-35s and refuel them mid-flight.

Preparations for the arrival of the F-35 are in full swing. According to the current timetable, the aircraft will arrive in the Netherlands during the evening of Monday 23 May. The F-35 will depart from Edwards Air Force Base in California, operating base for the Dutch F-35 detachment. Tests are being carried out at the American test base to see how the F-35 performs in various operational scenarios, both individually and in combination with other weapon systems.

Two F-35s are scheduled to make the crossing to Europe. Before crossing the Atlantic, the aircraft will land at Pax River Naval Base in Maryland, after which two KDC-10 transport aircraft will escort the F-35s and refuel them mid-flight.

Noise-level test flights

The F-35 is being brought to the Netherlands to carry out noise-level test flights near the Leeuwarden and Volkel air bases. The first fully operational Dutch F-35s are scheduled to arrive at Leeuwarden Air Base in 2019 and at Volkel Air Base in 2022. During meetings held last February with residents living in the surrounding area of the two air force bases, Netherlands Minister of Defence Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert made a promise to bring the F-35 over to the Netherlands on a temporary basis. The test flights will enable local residents to experience and compare the noise-level of the F-35 with that of the F-16 currently in use. The National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) is conducting a survey as preliminary research into the experiences of the surrounding residents and, in order to support the noise-level discussion, Defence has requested the NLR to set up five noise assessment points at each air base. According to the current plans, the first opportunity for a noise-level test flight is Wednesday 25 May.

Air Force Open Days

The Royal Netherlands Air Force Open Days coincide with the three-week visit of the F-35. Members of the public will be able to view the aircraft at Leeuwarden Air Base on 10 and 11 June, making the Royal Netherlands Air Force the first in Europe to display the aircraft.

SOURCE: Netherlands Ministry of Defence.