In a recent press release, Lockheed Martin announced that the increasing presence of F-35 fighter jets across Europe is significantly enhancing NATO’s defence and interoperability.

The F-35s are providing NATO with advanced capabilities across air, land, and sea, strengthening the alliance’s collective defence posture.

Last month, an international mix of F-35s participated in NATO’s first-ever basic fighter manoeuvring exercise in Germany, with U.S. Air Force maintainers servicing Norwegian F-35s for the first time.

In January, F-35s from the U.S. Air Force and the United Kingdom joined forces with allies during Exercise Steadfast Defender 24, NATO’s largest exercise since the Cold War. In February, Norwegian F-35s returned to Iceland to support NATO’s air surveillance mission.

Additionally, in April, Norwegian pilots intercepted Russian Tu-95MS bombers over the Barents and Norwegian Seas, demonstrating the F-35’s strategic importance.

The press release highlights the growing interoperability of the F-35s, showcasing their role as force multipliers for NATO. In March, U.S. Marine Corps F-35s conducted distributed aviation operations in Sweden, marking the first time American F-35s visited NATO’s newest member nation.

During the same month, Danish F-35s trained with Swedish Gripens, and the Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35s took over Benelux Air Policing duties from Dutch F-16s.

In April, American F-35s deployed to Poland to safeguard NATO’s Eastern Flank, alongside Polish F-16s. In Norway, U.S. and Norwegian crews conducted their first-ever unsupervised F-35 cross-service operation, highlighting the seamless integration of allied forces.

In May, American and Dutch F-35s conducted large-scale training exercises with F-16s and other allied aircraft over the Baltics, the largest such U.S.-led exercise in Europe to date. The following month, Norwegian F-35s trained with an American B-52 bomber over Norway’s coast, joined by Swedish and Finnish fighters.

Italy has also made significant strides with its F-35 programme. The Italian Navy’s ITS Cavour carrier strike group, supporting F-35B Initial Operational Capability, has participated in numerous NATO exercises and missions.

The presence of F-35s in Europe is expected to grow, say the company, with over 600 F-35s projected to be stationed across the continent by the 2030s. This year, the Czech Republic officially joined the F-35 programme, Poland’s first F-35 continued to progress on the production line, and Greece confirmed its plans to procure F-35s.


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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Bazza
Bazza (@guest_831851)
4 days ago

They aren’t wrong. The F-35 has certainly done a very good job getting all of NATO to buy American missiles. I wonder how they achieved such a thing? I’m sure they must have simply made the case that American missiles are far su- hang on, one second sorry…

This just in, Lockheed Martin has announced that Meteor integration to the F-35 has been delayed once more, they hope to have it completed by 2035.

Peter S
Peter S (@guest_831861)
4 days ago
Reply to  Bazza

Until integration of Spear3, the “strike” capability of the joint strike fighter is limited to dropping free fall Paveway 4. No stand off ability so we will continue to rely on Typhoon for most strike missions for many more years. Absolute shambles of a defence programme but brilliant business.

Jim
Jim (@guest_831880)
4 days ago
Reply to  Bazza

Where did you read that, there has been no news released, do you have a source?

Defence thoughts
Defence thoughts (@guest_831889)
4 days ago
Reply to  Bazza

Someone should have a quiet word with the DoD making clear that if the US wants their vassals to actually help them, they’ll let us use the missiles that we have designed ourselves and stockpiled.

When Hyderabad offered their own shells for our use in WW1, we didn’t quibble, we grabbed as many as we could!

lordtemplar
lordtemplar (@guest_831853)
4 days ago

it mostly highlights Europe’s growing reliance on US made weapons, which means weakening of EU’s own industrial base which could become problematic with isolationist US presidents like Trump.
UK used to make Nimrods etc… now reliant on US kit. PS still waiting for US to integrate Meteor, Brimstone, Spear etc… on F35.
Hopefully next UK government will give UK defense industry a boost to have more british made kit, ie no ITAR etc… and avoid future situations like Typhoon for Saudi blocked by Germany

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_831857)
4 days ago
Reply to  lordtemplar

Hopefully 👍

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_831912)
4 days ago
Reply to  lordtemplar

I thought Germany lifted their block on the Saudi Typhoon deal? With Saudi moving towards Brics and China and Russia it might be a wise thing to be a bit more cautious with anyway. The later pair would love to have an up close sneak at all the latest Western tech in service with Saudi Arabia. They probably already do anyway… Lol 😁

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_831933)
4 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

There was a point in time when he Saudi Typhoon deal was a slam dunk.

Germany held it up and……maybe….

lordtemplar
lordtemplar (@guest_831936)
4 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

you are right they recently did. but this thing has been dragging out for years. It was a done deal and planes should have already been delivered by now, but because of Germany deal now faces competition from Rafale and F15EX, so kn the end it might not get done

Nevis
Nevis (@guest_831860)
4 days ago

This is why GCAP is so important for the UK. Too much reliance on this one single platform (as good as it is) isn’t allowing us to maximise its full potential and more and more countries signing up will only make the situation worse. Just hope the incoming government sees the benefits to our defence and industry and funds it properly 🤞

Jim
Jim (@guest_831881)
4 days ago
Reply to  Nevis

GCAP may be even more significant in the export market if NGAD is canceled, FCAS looks increasingly like not happening as well any time soon. GCAP may be the only 6th Gen fighter in existence just about the same time they realise that all the AI stuff was linear algebra and not AI and a total scam by a handful of tech companies.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_831999)
4 days ago
Reply to  Jim

NGAD was slated for wide exports so who knows.

The thing is having sovereign control of the software so we are not on the Block IV altar again.

I appreciate Block IV is a massive upgrade but it was a leap too far rather than spiral.

That said I wonder what could be done quickly if things started to hot up?

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832127)
3 days ago

Why is it a massive upgrade? compared to the complexity of commercial industry i quite don’t understand what is mythical about the capabilities that Block IV.

Jim
Jim (@guest_832143)
3 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

An entirely new radar based on entirely new technology for a start. Combined with a weapons package drop that should have been done before.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832858)
23 hours ago
Reply to  Jim

Why that puts the whole program to stand still?

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_831862)
4 days ago

Still waiting for the integration of the weapons we need to make them fully capable!

Jim
Jim (@guest_831882)
4 days ago

F35 in a NATO context means the Russia A2AD strategy won’t work. That means that maneuverer becomes suicide for the Russians. You can’t invade a country if you can’t maneuverer. Lockheed needs to get its s**t together and field the BlkIV capability. The US should consider just how bad things are going to be if they cancel NGAD and end up with LM as their sole source fighter production company. Mind you when the alternative is Boeing is not much of a choice. A lot of anti America conspiracy theories about why European missiles are being held back but there… Read more »

Chris
Chris (@guest_831926)
4 days ago
Reply to  Jim

You guys act like someone else can do it better. LM is very good, if not the best in the world. Nobody builds products with the capability they do. The Block IV is an entire redesign of the aircraft’s avionics, network and sensor architecture. It brings AI developed for NGAD into the F-35. It’s not like the typhoon program where you can copy paste information developed from the F-15 in the 70’s. This is entirely new territory, and a massive program.

Jim
Jim (@guest_831927)
4 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Hi Chris, I think that’s the problem for LM, overly ambitious on what they can do and requiring vast budgets. BlkIV is too ambitious, as you say it’s practically a new aircraft and launching something so ambitious before getting all the kinks worked out from the earlier blocks was a massive mistake. Availability is a disaster and ALIS has become a price gouging tool for US defence contractors. The aircraft is highly capable and its price is remarkably low given its capabilities.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832129)
3 days ago
Reply to  Chris

 The Block IV is an entire redesign of the aircraft’s avionics, network and sensor architecture. 

A bunch of even more complexity to increase prices nothing more .
Put Android or Linux in it and call it a day. This kind of crap is what makes the civilian technology move much faster than the archaic military and 40 years after F-35 project and almost from first flight it is still a techno-bureaucratic nightmare.

lordtemplar
lordtemplar (@guest_831937)
4 days ago
Reply to  Jim

and Block 4 is the can that keeps getting kicked down the road. Originally should have been operational by now, but now it won’t happen until 2030 and that is if no mre delays. I’ll believe it when it is real.

Jim
Jim (@guest_831944)
4 days ago
Reply to  lordtemplar

Yes but it also seems to get rescoped as well, blk IV is a bigger package than was originally envisaged.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_831963)
4 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Mission creep. Foolish in the extreme. Always leads to time and cost overruns. Just to be clear, mission creep is when the spec changes during the development and or production phases. Up grades are applied to systems that have been finished to a previous standard or set of requirements. If you want a stable (ish) complex program you definitely freeze the requirements before the development phase. If that’s a problem then you ‘box up’ various sub-systems into stand alone(ish) projects and integrate later making sure you have your interface standards are well and truly nailed down ‘before’ you start. Never… Read more »

Jim
Jim (@guest_831969)
4 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Yes, I don’t think congress would have approved funds for what is essentially the F35DEF so it was sold as a software upgrade. The F35 was also originally a cheap as chips F16 replacement but was consistently rescoped until it became the absolute beast it is today.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_833069)
2 minutes ago
Reply to  Jim

Hi Jim, I don’t have a problem with a change in requirements or scope provided those changes are done in the right way. So yeh, F35 has grown to the point where it has the potential to be a world class beast. I think it needs Block 4 software to allow it to really realise it’s full potential especially for allies such as the UK who want to fit proven weapons such as Brimstone and Meteor. Block 4 is a good example of what I am talking about. From what I have read (and their will be others who know… Read more »

Martin
Martin (@guest_831948)
4 days ago

Very slow production rate, delayed soft ware up dates, great aircraft but may be it has a few issues. Buy American then get stung on the spares/up dates / mods.
Saying that what else was on offer at the timer?

simon alexander
simon alexander (@guest_831960)
4 days ago

americans, more than naughty to delay uk / euro weapons on f35b

John
John (@guest_831968)
4 days ago

Deliberate.

John
John (@guest_831967)
4 days ago

Buy Murikan, get stuck with Murikan weaponry ( despite what they say ) An arse of a programme and all the more reason not to get shafted in the future.

Last edited 4 days ago by John
Marked
Marked (@guest_832071)
3 days ago

It’s done a cracking job for their shareholders that’s for sure!

Simon
Simon (@guest_832102)
3 days ago

Pretty much as everyone has said, good work but, pity about the delay in integrating non-US ordnance.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832130)
3 days ago
Reply to  Simon

Good work?! NGAD is suspended because of this disaster. Maybe the last Lockheed fighter since USAF is so scared.

Simon
Simon (@guest_832135)
3 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

From Lockheed point of view, I suppose they are having great export success (helped by the war in Ukrainian) and it a major upgrade for a number of Nato air forces ( again helped by the war in Ukrainian) we shall see what the long terms effect is.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832125)
3 days ago

One of the most successful disastrous aircraft program.

USAF and USN suspended their 6th generation fighters because it is basically unacceptable a repeat of what happened with F-35.

Last edited 3 days ago by AlexS
Jim
Jim (@guest_832144)
3 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

I think it was looking more like a repeat of F22 than F35.

Jim
Jim (@guest_832145)
3 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

I think the airforce is terrified it’s getting another hangar queen fielded in numbers of 100 ish aircraft for NGAD. The Airforce is short of money and the fighter force is not that bad due to F35 success compared to the bomber force that’s falling out of the sky and the ICBM force that’s nearly obsolete. They are using talk of drones to cover this up rather than any real break through in unmanned aircraft. I know this because just like with the RAF the unmanned combat aircraft projects keep getting canceled and rescheduled every few years with nothing to… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832265)
3 days ago
Reply to  Jim

The Air Force says specifically they don’t want another F-35 project., They want a return of “century fighters” with a new one model each decade. They don’t want aircraft that take ages to be upgraded while civilian dual use tech upgrades every year.