Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency announced on 16 February that the Royal Norwegian Air Force has carried out testing of its F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft drag chute system at Ørland Air Force Base.
The drag chute system is unique to the F-35 aircraft only of the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF).This system enables the Norwegian Air Force to safely and effectively land the aircraft on short, icy runways.
In a statement, Norwegian Ministry of Defence F-35 Programme programme director major general Morten Klever said: “Receiving the first three aircraft in November 2017 was a major milestone for Norway.”
“The programme delivers on all key criteria: time, cost and performance.
“Through the verification of the production version of the drag chute on our production model of the F-35, the weapons system is expected to fully qualify for arctic conditions this spring.”
According to the Aviationist, the system, housed under a small fairing on the upper rear fuselage between the vertical tails, can be used to rapidly decelerate Norwegian F-35s after landing on the country’s icy runways under windy conditions.
Although the chute is unique to the Norwegian aircraft, other nations flying the F-35A may adopt it, if needed.
The Norwegian government has decided to buy up to 52 new F-35A, and the whole F-35 fleet will be fully operating in 2025. The F-35s will provide a substantial capability for securing Norway and Norwegian territories in the High North. Norway is NATO’s northern border, and the F-35s will therefore be important for the Alliance.