F-35s Protect NATO’s Periphery

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F-35s Protect NATO’s Periphery

The Norwegian F-35s were airborne within minutes.

On April 3, Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35 pilots jumped into their jets to intercept a pair of Russian Tu-95MS bombers over the Barents and Norwegian Seas.

According to Russia’s ministry of defense, Russian Su-35s “provided fighter support” for the bombardiers.

Although the encounter was conducted “professionally,” it is another stark reminder of why the F-35's deterrence capability is needed.

Sending the ‘Right Signal’

Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35s meanwhile took over air policing duties for the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Securing that Benelux airspace is currently in the hands of two Dutch F-35s.

“The F-35 is above all a more modern platform, which makes things easier,” said Major Nick, the Dutch F-35 squadron’s deputy chief of operations. “The aircraft can fly longer and has better sensors ‒ and it sends the right signal.”

With advanced sensor and communication suites the F-35 significantly enhances the capabilities of networked airborne, maritime, space, surface and ground-based platforms, giving pilots an unprecedented advantage against adversaries. The aircraft’s operational reliability is strong, enabling allies to be ready at a moment’s notice.