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Royal Netherlands Air Force Declares F-35 IOC

The Netherlands Ministry of Defence and Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) have officially declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for their F-35A fleet. With this announcement the Netherlands becomes the eighth country and 12th military service to declare IOC for its F-35 fleet.

“The declaration of IOC ushers in a new era of air power that gives the RNLAF transformational capabilities,” F-35 Program Vice President and General Manager Bridget Lauderdale said.  “I am proud of the Lockheed Martin team’s commitment to delivering the most effective, survivable and connected fighter to our partners in the Netherlands.”

The most advanced fighter jet ever built, the F-35 offers the RNLAF unmatched air superiority. Using its sensors and low observable technology, the F-35 can operate with impunity in contested airspace and fuse a picture of the battlespace for other air, land and sea assets. Along with its advanced weapons capacity and superior range, the F-35 offers unparalleled combat capabilities. The F-35 will ensure the RNLAF can protect the national interest of the Netherlands and contribute to critical regional allied deterrence missions for decades to come.

The F-35 program is leveraging the Netherlands’ industrial experience and expertise gained on the F-16 program to contribute to the technology development and production of the F-35. Every F-35 contains components manufactured by Dutch companies, with more than 25 suppliers from across Dutch industry contributing to the program. With the introduction of advanced technologies, Dutch industry is strategically positioned to participate in the production of more than 3,000 F-35 aircraft over the life of the program.

A total of 24 F-35As have been delivered to the RNLAF, and RNLAF crews have surpassed more than 9,085 flight hours to date, with 55 pilots and 262 maintainers supporting the fleet.

With more than 730 aircraft operating from 29 bases and ships across the globe, the F-35 plays a critical role in today's global security environment. More than 1,535 pilots and 11,500 maintainers have been trained on the aircraft. Nine nations have F-35s operating from their home soil.