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Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35 Lightning II
 
Latest update: March 2019
 
The F-35 Lightning II fifth generation fighter is developed by the United States and eight partner nations. In 2002 The Netherlands joint the program as a Tier 2 (Level 2) partner. Until it received its current designation the aircraft was known as Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). Lockheed Martin head test pilot Jon Beesly made the first with the JSF on December 15, 2006. Taking off from Fort Worth, Texas the aircraft flew for 35 minutes and reaching 15.000 feet. It marked the start of a 12.000 flight hour test program.

The Dutch goverment decided to buy two F-35As Lightning II to participate in the operational test and development phase of the Lightning II. In 2009 the contract was signed for the first aircraft followed in 2011 for the second F-35.

On October 17, 2018 the Dutch MoD announced to buy the final three aircraft resulting in the planned purchase of 37 aircraft. From LRIP 12 these will be part of a block buy with the F-35 partners.

As part of the national NATO plan approved by the government the intention to buy additional F-35A's was announced on December 14, 2018. The decision will be taken in the spring of 2019 when the government will decide how to divide additional budget between all its priorities. Currently two operational squadrons can be fielded with NATO calling for a third squadron which translates to rougly 15 additional Lightnings. 

The first eight F-35s will be build by Lockheed Martin at its Fort Worth, Texas plant. Two ordered in the early production batches are engaged in the Operational Test and Development (OT&D) program and assigned to 323 TES based at Edwards AFB, California. The other six aircraft (MSN AN-3 until MSN-8) are currently in various stages of production at Fort Worth. Of these AN-3 (F-003) made its first flight on Saturday December 15, 2018. F-003 will be the first aircraft for Nederlands Opleiding Detachement F-35 (NODF-35). The detachment is embedded within the USAF 308th FS / 56th FW at Luke AFB, Arizona and will be responsible for all training on the Lightning II. F-003 will be delivered in week 4 of 2019. By the end of the second quarter all six F-35A's should be delivered to the unit with the two 323 TES aircraft to follow after the OT&D program has been completed.

In Italy (Leonardo FACO Cameri) final assembly of AN-9 began on June 15, 2018. It will be delivered to 322 squadron based at Leeuwarden on October 31, 2019.
 
More information about the F-35 Lightning II can be found at the website:

F-35 order and delivery reports (overview of current ordered and delivered aircraft and detailed production batches).
Luke Lightnings article about the 56th FW and its current and future F-35A squadrons/
F-35 to The Netherlands (May 23 - June 14, 2016).
 
Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35 production
 
Prod. Batch Prod. Lot MSN F-35A Prod. Plant Roll out First Flight Delivery date Status Squadron
LRIP 3 3 AN-1 F-001 Fort Worth, Texas 01-04-12 06-08-12 25-07-13 Active 323 TES
LRIP 4 4 AN-2 F-002 Fort Worth, Texas 02-03-13 27-06-13 12-09-13 Active 323 TES
LRIP 11 11 AN-3 F-003 Fort Worth, Texas 30-01-19 15-12-18 04-02-19 Active NODF-35 (308th FS)
LRIP 11 11 AN-4 F-004 Fort Worth, Texas   08-01-19 07-02-19 Active NODF-35 (308th FS)
LRIP 11 11 AN-5 F-005 Fort Worth, Texas   23-01-19 19-03-19 Active NODF-35 (308th FS)
LRIP 11 11 AN-6 F-006 Fort Worth, Texas   28-01-19 06-03-19 Active NODF-35 (308th FS)
LRIP 11 11 AN-7 F-007 Fort Worth, Texas   20-02-19 Q2-2019 Flt. Test NODF-35 (308th FS)
LRIP 11 11 AN-8 F-008 Fort Worth, Texas     Q2-2019 Prod. line NODF-35 (308th FS)
LRIP 11 11 AN-9 F-009 Cameri, Italy   17-07-19 31-10-19 Prod. line For 322 squadron
LRIP 11 11 AN-10 F-010 Cameri, Italy     Q4-2004 Prod. line For 322 squadron
LRIP 12 12 AN-11 F-011 Cameri, Italy     Q1-2020    
LRIP 12 12 AN-12 F-012 Cameri, Italy     Q1/Q2-2020    
LRIP 12 12 AN-13 F-013 Cameri, Italy     Q2-2020    
LRIP 12 12 AN-14 F-014 Cameri, Italy     Q2/Q3-2020    
LRIP 12 12 AN-15 F-015 Cameri, Italy     Q3-2020    
LRIP 12 12 AN-16 F-016 Cameri, Italy     Q3/Q4-2020    
LRIP 12 12 AN-17 F-017 Cameri, Italy     Q4-2020    
LRIP 12 12 AN-18 F-018 Cameri, Italy     Q1-2021    
LRIP 13 13 AN-19 F-019 Cameri, Italy     Q1-2021    
LRIP 13 13 AN-20 F-020 Cameri, Italy     Q1/Q2-2021    
LRIP 13 13 AN-21 F-021 Cameri, Italy     Q1/Q2-2021    
LRIP 13 13 AN-22 F-022 Cameri, Italy     Q2-2021    
LRIP 13 13 AN-23 F-023 Cameri, Italy     Q2/Q3-2021    
LRIP 13 13 AN-24 F-024 Cameri, Italy     Q3-2021    
LRIP 13 13 AN-25 F-025 Cameri, Italy     Q3/Q4-2021    
LRIP 13 13 AN-26 F-026 Cameri, Italy     Q4-2021    
LRIP 14 14 AN-27 F-027 Cameri, Italy     2022    
LRIP 14 14 AN-28 F-028 Cameri, Italy     2022    
LRIP 14 14 AN-29 F-029 Cameri, Italy     2022    
LRIP 14 14 AN-30 F-030 Cameri, Italy     2022    
LRIP 14 14 AN-31 F-031 Cameri, Italy     2022    
LRIP 14 14 AN-32 F-032 Cameri, Italy     2022    
LRIP 14 14 AN-33 F-033 Cameri, Italy     2022    
LRIP 14 14 AN-34 F-034 Cameri, Italy     2022    
FRP 15 15 AN-35 F-035 Cameri, Italy     2023    
FRP 15 15 AN-36 F-036 Cameri, Italy     2023    
FRP 15 15 AN-37 F-037 Cameri, Italy     2023    
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Ordered 10 LRIP: 3, 4, 11.  
Contract 27 LRIP: 12 - 15. Contract signed, US DoD to award the production contract to Lockheed Martin.
Total 37  
Opport. 15 Part of the national NATO plan to increase defence spending.  
Total 52  
   
Prod. Batch Production batch (FRP or LRIP).  
Prod. Lot Production lot.   
MSN /CN Manufacturer Serial Number.  
Prod. Plant Production plant.  
LRIP Low Rate Initial Production.  
FRP Full Rate Production.  
                   
 
Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35 milestones
 
Date Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35A program highlights
   
19-03-19 F-005 delivered to NODF-35 (308 FS) Luke AFB, Arizona.
06-03-19 F-006 delivered to NODF-35 (308 FS) Luke AFB, Arizona.
20-02-19 First flight F-007 to be delivered to NODF-35 (308 FS) Luke AFB, Arizona.
07-02-19 F-004 delivered to NODF-35 (308 FS) Luke AFB, Arizona.
04-02-19 F-003 delivered to NODF-35 (308 FS) Luke AFB, Arizona.
30-01-19 Official roll-out of F-35A F-003 (first flight on December 15, 2018).
28-01-19 First flight F-006 to be delivered to NODF-35 (308 FS) Luke AFB, Arizona.
23-01-19 First flight F-005 to be delivered to NODF-35 (308 FS) Luke AFB, Arizona.
08-01-19 First flight F-004 to be delivered to NODF-35 (308 FS) Luke AFB, Arizona.
15-12-19 First flight F-003 to be delivered to NODF-35 (308 FS) Luke AFB, Arizona.
14-12-18 On December 14, 2018 the government approved the national NATO plan. During the spring of 2019 additional
  money from the state budget will be divided with the intention for an additional investment in defence. Part of
  additional budget will be allocated to extra F-35A's. Minister of Defence Bijleveld referred to about 15 aircraft.
17-10-18 MoD announced to buy the final three F-35s  confirming the buy of 37 aircraft. Order to be placed in October 2018
  to include these aircraft into the production of Lot 15 with delivery in 2023.
16-10-18 After a crash of an USMC F-35B a fleet wide inspection of the F-35s was ordered. The inspection revealed that
  one of the 323 TES F-35A's will need to receive new fuel lines.
15-06-18 Start of assembly of the first F-35A build by Leonardo at Camera Italy.
10-06-16 Official presentation to the public at the Luchtmachtdagen (Air Force Days) at Leeuwarden.
07-06-16 F-35A flight over The Netherlands.
26-05-16 Belevingsvluchten (experience flights)  for Leeuwarden and Volkel residents.
23-05-16 Arrival of the two F-35As at Leeuwarden Air Base.
16-01-15 Both F-35A's were flown (5 hour flight) from Eglin AFB, Florida to Edwards AFB, California. They joined
  the Operational Test & Evaluation phase.
04-11-14 323 squadron activated as the first RNLAF F-35 squadron at Eglin AFB, Florida on Tuesday November 4, 2014
18-12-13 The first F-35A (F-001) solo flight by a RNLAF was conducted by Major Laurens Jan Vijge from Eglin AFB, Florida..
10-10-13 The first Dutch pilots started the pilot training program theoratic phase with first flights planned in December.
  Training commenced to be ready for the operational test and development phase to start in 2015.
25-07-13 First F-35A (AN-1 / F-001) handed over by the US DoD.
04-04-13 Both F-35s grounded until the government made a decision about the replacement of the F-16. See note
06-03-13 Second F-35A (F-002) rolled of the production line at Fort, Worth, Texas.
06-08-12 Roll out of the first Dutch F-35A (F-001).
09-02-12 Jet engine installed on the first F-35A (F-001).
14-11-06 Poduction Sustainment & Follow-on Development (PSFD) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with US.
2011 Order for the second (test) RNLAF F-35A.
02-06-09 Order for the first (test) RNLAF F-35A.
29-02-08 Government decided to take part in the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation phase (IOT&E).
2002 Netherlands Tier / Level 2 partner JSF (Joint Strike Fighter Progeam).
   

Photo gallery
 
First visit at Volkel by  F-002/OT May 26, 2016.

Flyby by F-001/OT at Soesterberg on June 7, 2016. 

Presentation to the public during its first appearance at an air show. Leeuwarden, luchtmachtdagen 2016.