F-35 Users Talk Capabilities, Deterrence in Europe

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F-35 Users Talk Capabilities, Deterrence in Europe

F-35 operators have been touting how the aircraft is strengthening allied deterrence in Europe, where allies face threats not seen in a generation. 

European Unison

“The F-35 has been one of the most effective integration tools for NATO since the end of the Cold War,” emphasized Gen. James Hecker, Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa.

Shortly thereafter, American F-35As deployed to safeguard NATO’s eastern flank, integrating allies and partners as a show of force against external adversaries.

“Operations with our fifth-generation platform, the F-35, are critical to us,” added Royal Netherlands Air Force Air Commodore Johan van Deventer. 

Strength, In Numbers

The Czech Republic recently formalized plans to procure F-35s, joining the growing number of NATO allies operating the 5th Gen jet.

“The F-35 is the only one with which we can stand on the battlefields of the future and which will also be a guarantee that, if necessary, we can effectively defend ourselves together with our allies against external aggression,” said Czech Army Lt. Gen. Karel Řehka.

By 2030, more than 600 F-35s are expected to be operational in Europe.

Ready Now

The F-35 is providing reliable, cost-effective operational capabilities to the U.S. and allies around the world.

Here’s what F-35 customers have been saying about the 5th Gen jet’s performance:

“In the wake of Russia’s Ukraine invasion, U.S. and Dutch F-35s flew missions together in a single four-ship formation on the eastern flank.” –Gen. James Hecker, Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa

“The [F-35As at Red Flag 24-1] have been performing extremely well. We haven’t lost a single sortie due to a maintenance issue.” –U.S. Air Force Maj. Bryan Butler, Commander, 421st Fighter Generation Squadron

“Alaska is a strategic connecting point for North America to the Indo-Pacific. […] If you can generate and deploy F-35s here in this environment, you really can do it anywhere.” –Frank Kendall, Secretary of the Air Force

The F-35 is one of the most reliable aircraft in the U.S. fighter fleet, with more than 90% of parts performing better than predicted.