The Netherlands will join Norway on the development of the brake chute for the Lockheed Martin F-35, the Norwegian government confirmed last week.
In a 25 November bill presented to the Norwegian Parliament, the Dutch government agreed to pay Norway 96 million NOK ($ 11.4 million) to cover their share of development costs. That cost share will allow the Norwegian government to redirect those funds to other areas of its F-35 programme, according to a post by the minister of defence.
While most international partners’ F-35s are indistinguishable from the US fighters, Norway and now the Netherlands will incorporate drag chutes to help the aircraft land on icy runways.
“Though relying on the aircraft’s hydraulics for power, it is a separate add-on system with its own wiring and hard points,” the Norwegian government says in a statement. “The benefit of the system is that it makes it both easier and safer to operate the F-35 on slippery runways, as we often will be doing in Norway during the winter months.”
Lockheed will test the brake chute at Edwards AFB, California this summer and will begin testing on icy runways in Alaska in late winter 2017, a company spokesman tells FlightGlobal.
Canada also expressed interest in the modification, FlightGlobal reported in 2014.