F-35A Icy Runway Testing for Norwegian Drag Chute Underway in Alaska

World Defense & Security Industry News - Lockheed Martin
F-35A Icy Runway Testing for Norwegian Drag Chute Underway in Alaska
Maj. Jonathan “Spades” Gilber, U.S. Air Force F-35 test pilot, demonstrated the handling qualities of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II during icy runway ground testing at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska., the company announced on Monday, November 27. The testing is part of the certification process for the Norwegian drag chute and continues over the next several weeks. Maj. Eskil Amdal, test pilot with the Royal Norwegian Air Force, is also participating.
F 35A Icy Runway Testing for Norwegian Drag Chute Underway in Alaska 640 001F-35A conducts icy runway testing at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska
(Credit: Darin Russell/Lockheed Martin)
This initial testing is the first of two phases to ensure the F-35A can operate in these extreme conditions. The second phase of testing will deploy the Norwegian drag chute during landing operations and is planned for first quarter 2018 at Eielson.

The F-35A drag chute is designed to be installed on all of Norway’s F-35As and is form fitted to ensure it maintains stealth characteristics while flying. Norway and Lockheed Martin are working with the Netherlands who is sharing in the development of this critical capability. The drag chute underwent initial wet and dry runway deployment testing at Edwards Air Force Base, California earlier this year.

The Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) on Nov. 3 formally took delivery of its first three F-35A fighter jets.

Seven more RNoAF F-35As are currently at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, where Norwegian pilots are in training. The Norwegian government has plans to purchase up to 52 F-35As. From 2018, Norway will receive six aircraft annually up until, and including, 2024.

The first Norwegian F-35A was rolled out in Fort Worth, Texas, on 22 September 2015. Norway participates in the F-35 program as a Level 3 partner in the system development and demonstration phase, with a view to enabling its industry to compete for industrial opportunities. The Norwegian Air Force and the local defense contractor Kongsberg decided to develop the Joint Strike Missile for the F-35 and other aircraft.