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Lockheed rolls out first Belgian F-35 but software hitch delays homecoming

11th December 2023 - 11:47 GMT | by Norbert Neumann in London

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Belgium's request to purchase 34 F-35As was approved by the US State Department in January 2018. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin has unveiled Belgium’s inaugural F-35, however, Technology Refresher 3 (TR-3) software setbacks have kept the fighter in the US which has impacted deployment and training plans.

Belgium has been presented its first F-35A fighter jet by Lockheed Martin during a rollout ceremony at the manufacturer's production facility.

‘The introduction of the F-35 within the Belgian Air Force will enable us to continue to fulfil all our missions in the coming decades, in cooperation with our allies and partners in NATO, the EU and beyond,’ said Admiral Michel Hofman, chief of defence for the Belgian Armed Forces.

As Shephard previously reported, however, the fifth-generation fighters will not leave Lockheed Martin’s factory for Europe but for the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) Luke Air Force base where Belgian pilots

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Norbert Neumann

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Norbert Neumann


Norbert is the Aviation, Military Training & Simulation reporter at Shephard Media. Before joining Shephard in …

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