Together with representatives from government, industry and knowledge institutes, the rollout of AN-1, the first Dutch F-35, has taken place at Forth Worth, Texas.
This is the latest step in the production process leading to its eventual assignment to Eglin AFB, Fla., later this summer. The Netherlands will use the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) jet, known as AN-1, for training and operational tests for pilots and maintainers. AN-1 will undergo functional fuel system checks before being transported to the flight line for ground and flight tests in the coming weeks. The second Dutch test aircraft, the AN-2, is expected to be ready next year.
The Royal Netherlands Air Force continues to be at the forefront of flight testing and pilot training and remains at the leading edge of advanced 5th Generation fighter technology. NLR has a long standing tradition of support to the Netherlands Armed Forces and other customers for test and evaluation activities. NLR employees have been supporting the Netherlands MoD in the F-35 acquisition and test and evaluation activities for a number of years. More personnel with experience in flight testing and evaluation is foreseen in the near future.’
By actively participating in the F-35 program NLR will gain in depth understanding of the test planning and execution of the intended successor of the F-16 in the Netherlands. The knowledge and practical experience gained in the innovative ways of testing and verification of the F-35 is very valuable to both the Netherlands Ministry of Defense and Dutch industry. Consequently, NLR will be in an even better position to support their customers.
In other parts of NLR, support to industry is provided for the design, development and sustainment of innovative products, processes and services for the F-35. Since 1998, high-tech aerospace knowledge and facilities are being used to deliver sustainable and affordable solutions to the F-35 program. This has created high value jobs and expertise in the Netherlands with a spin off to aerospace and spill over to other industrial areas.
The Netherlands government, industry and knowledge institutes are continuing the NL F-35 Representative Position as part of the Lockheed Martin team in Ft Worth, Texas. Starting this month, an employer of NLR will fill the position for the next three years. To provide faster information exchange, she will act as an on-site liaison between the Netherlands and the Lockheed Martin team, under the direction of the Ministry of Defence of the Netherlands.