Within 12 years, the fleet of fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighters in Europe may increase by more than four
What is known
Falcon Strike 2022 exercises are taking place in southern Italy,in which the air forces of the United States, the Netherlands and Italy are working out the joint use and maintenance of the fifth generation fighter F-35 Lightning II. By the way, this is the first time that planes fly here with their radar reflectors turned off.
Heads of the Air Forces of different countries arrived at the exercises,to discuss how to get the most out of your F-35 Lightning II fleet. The issue of joint maintenance of fighter jets was one of the central topics at a press conference held by the military for journalists.
Chief of the Italian Air Force, General Luca Goretti (LucaGoretti claims that if the F-35 is transferred to the Netherlands, the service should send another 100 specialists after the aircraft. Harmonization of fighter maintenance procedures will make it possible to reduce the composition of the team by 2-3 times and save the budget. Europe has already demonstrated the effectiveness of cross-servicing aircraft with the Eurofighter and Tornado.
Also at the press conference touched on the topicthe size of the F-35 Lightning II fleet. Italy currently has 21 fifth-generation fighters (16 F-35A + 5 F-35B). The Netherlands has 32 aircraft and will receive 14 more within two years.
James Hecker, US Air Force Commanderin Europe and Africa, expects the total number of F-35 Lightning IIs in Europe by 2034 to be more than 600 aircraft. According to the general, it will be "very powerful" and will serve as a signal to any opponent of NATO.