Czech Republic to Establish Regional F-35 Training Center | Aviation

USAF F-35 Demo Team, during its display at NATO Days in Ostrava, 2023. (All images credit: Jacek Siminski/The Aviationist)

With the establishment of the center, the Czech Republic has the opportunity to become a Central European training hub for the F-35.

Lockheed Martin is considering setting up a training center for F-35 pilots in the Czech city of Pardubice, marking a significant development for the region, Czech E15 media outlet reported. Notably, many European countries are progressing with their procurement of the F-35. With its wide user base, the Lightning II is destined to remain the most widely deployed fifth-generation fighter aircraft globally, following the footsteps of the F-16 in the fourth generation.

As Billie Flynn mentioned in an interview with The Aviationist last year, the F-35 is poised to play a pivotal role akin to previous-generation fighters like the F-104 and F-4. The F-16, serving as the NATO standard in the fourth generation, has seen over 4,700 units built to date, with Lockheed Martin continuing production. The total number of F-16s built is expected to surpass 5,000 ultimately.

The Czech Republic has committed to procuring 24 F-35s, with the Polish Air Force, the country’s neighbour, planning to operate 32 such aircraft. Germany is also set to follow suit, with 35 jets, forming a robust Central European user group.

Lockheed Martin, in…


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