Russia is About to Get A Close Look at the F-35 Stealth Fighter
The trillion-dollar plane is getting into the air-policing game. Moscow won't like that.
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September 27, 2019 - by David Axe fir
Italy has become the first country to deploy F-35 stealth fighters for NATO's air-policing missions.
Italian F-35As belonging to the Italian air force's 13° Gruppo, 32° Stormo are on track to take over the air-policing mission in Iceland, David Cenciotti reported at The Aviationist on Sept. 25, 2019.
"The Italian aircraft, that have already deployed to Keflavik International Airport, from their homebase at Amendola air base in southeastern Italy, will start flying familiarisation sorties in the next few days," Cenciotti wrote. "After achieving the NATO certification they will start quick-reaction alert duties."
"The F-35s, were accompanied by a KC-767A tanker, a C-130J and a P-72A maritime patrol aircraft," Cenciotti added, citing data from flight-tracking websites.
F-35s surely will become regular fixtures in NATO deployments. Several NATO countries besides Italy are acquiring F-35s, including the United States, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Norway. Spain has expressed interest in the stealth fighter. Canada seems likely to acquire the type.
Trade publication Defense News in early June 2019 revealed lingering flaws in the F-35's design....