Royal Netherlands Air Force Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Fighter
Royal Netherlands Air Force Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Fighter

Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35As Receive Mk-82 Bombs for Conducting Training Missions

The Nato Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) Ammunition Support Partnership (ASP), Air Munitions Component, delivered Mk-82 training bombs to the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) to assure essential air training missions with F-35A. The Mark 82 (Mk 82) is an unguided, low-drag general-purpose bomb, part of the U.S. Mark 80 series. This support was enabled by ASP for the first time through an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA). The ASP delivered to RNLAF in only 6 months from initial request, thanks to the Mutual Emergency Support framework provided by the United States Air Force Europe.

The Mk 82 is offered with a variety of fin kits, fuzes, and retarders for different purposes. The explosive filling is usually tritonal, though other compositions have sometimes been used. The explosive filling is usually tritonal, though other compositions have sometimes been used. With a nominal weight of 500 lb (230 kg), it is one of the smallest in current service, and one of the most common air-dropped weapons in the world. Although the Mk 82’s nominal weight is 500 lb, its actual weight varies depending on its configuration, from 510 to 570 lb (230 to 260 kg). The Mk 82 is offered with a variety of fin kits and retarders for different purposes.

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A Support Partnership, a distinctive feature of Nato Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), is a multinational cooperation mechanism established on the initiative of two or more NATO nations wishing to organize common support and services activities. Participating Nations provide governance and guidance, whereas NSPA develops capabilities and manages Nations’ requirements. The consolidation of requirements reduces costs and logistics footprint and provides a common and efficient support under a legal framework.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole combat aircraft that is intended to perform both air superiority and strike missions. It is also able to provide electronic warfare and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. Lockheed Martin is the prime F-35 contractor, with principal partners Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. On 27 December 2021 the Netherlands declared initial operational capability (IOC) for its fleet of 24 F-35As that it has received to date from its order for 46 F-35As. In 2022, the Netherlands announced they will order an additional 6 F-35s, totaling 52 aircraft ordered.

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