Dutch and American officials celebrated the roll out of the first operational F-35A Lightning II for the Royal Netherlands Air Fore @ Lockheed Martin in Forth Worth, Texas back in January 2019.
However, the first new Dutch two fighter planes arrived at Leeuwarden Air Base on time on October 31, 2019. The aircraft are used for foreign offensive missions and combat training. The Dutch state pays around 5 billion euros for the devices.
What was intended as a water cannon salute to mark the arrival of the Netherlands’s first operational F-35A Joint Strike Fighters quickly became a frothy, foamy fail of the most caustic kind.
The base’s firefighting operators had been placed on standby for the salute prior to the stealth fighter’s arrival, and had been called to assist in an emergency involving an F-16 Viper earlier in the day.
The Dutch Air Force fire crew was hoping to celebrate the arrival of the Netherlands’ first F-35A Lightning II with a water cannon during the ceremony, but instead sprayed firefighting foam on the super expensive warplane.
They then forgot to change back to water for the F-35 arrival ceremony.
First, the F-35’s pilot’s Colonel Bert “Vidal” de Smit and Major Pascal “Smiley” Smaal conducted a fly by for the nearly 2,000 base members, dignitaries and media before touching down at 9 pm.
The nation’s air force was looking forward to replace the aging F-16 fleet, with one of the older aircraft being infamous for nearly shooting itself down in March of this year.
According to the Daily Mail, the incident took place on October 31st, and the accidental use of foam was due to a mishap involving an F-16 earlier in the day.
The pilot, Ian Knight, was no doubt left confused as he taxied on the tarmac, having just flown to the Netherlands from Italy.
As the plane was taxied away to a nearby hangar, some of the foam was sucked into the aircraft’s engines. There have been no reported lasting effects on engine functionality in previous incidents of firefighting foam exposure on military aircraft.
However, the F-35A is a stealth aircraft which has highly sensitive radar-absorbing coatings on its outer skin, which may have been interfered with by the foam.
The Netherlands currently has four pilots and 27 maintainers, but its cadre will grow substantially during the next three years as the Netherlands prepares for a total of 37 aircraft permanently based starting with Leeuwarden in 2019 and then Volkel Air Base in 2021.
According to Lockheed Martin, the jets will conduct both aerial, ground and noise tests, perform flights over the North Sea range and then appear and fly at the Netherlands’s Open Days.
While the Dutch Air Force has eight other Joint Strike Fighters, they are all based in the USA, where they are used for pilot training and testing.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point Military News 2019.