Lockheed Martin F-35A Fighter Aircraft Land on Highway. Norwegian military footage revealed that for the first time, two F-35A Lockheed Martin fighter jets have landed on a highway, allowing them to spend less time vulnerable on the ground during times of conflict.
Two Royal Norwegian Air Force aircraft landed in Tervo, central Finland, on Thursday afternoon as part of a military exercise.
The Norwegian military stated that refueling was performed immediately after landing with the engines running, a so-called “hotpit refueling,” before the aircraft took off again.
“Fighter jets are vulnerable on the ground, so the ability to use small airfields – and now highways – increases our survivability in battle,” said Royal Norwegian Air Force chief Major General Rolf Folland in the statement.
Russia shares a 1,300-kilometer (810-mile) border with Finland, which joined NATO in April. Norway is an alliance founding member. The F-35B, capable of vertical landing, has previously landed on roads. This was a first for this F-35 variant, which cannot descend vertically.
F-16 aircraft can also descend on roads. Finland plans to acquire 64 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter aircraft.