April 19 (UPI) -- Norway has begun testing a drogue parachute braking system for use on F-35 Lightning II aircraft ordered from the United States, the Ministry of Defense says.
The Norwegian testing of the system, which will help the aircraft land on icy and windy runways, began Easter Sunday using a specially instrumented AF-2 jet.
The Ministry said the testing is a two-stage program. The first stage tests is to evaluate how an F-35 would behavesin the air with a fitted drogue parachute, and how the drogue parachute would function on dry and wet runways.
Phase Two involves using the parachute braking system on icy runway.
"Integration of the brake chute on Norwegian fighter aircraft is important to us," Norwegian Defense Ministry's State Secretary Øystein Bø said in a press release. "We rely on the F-35 to operate in extreme winter conditions, just like the F-16 can. That's why we put so much effort into getting a specially-developed brake chute on our F-35."
The testing is being conducted at Edwards Air Force Base in California and Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska.
Norway, which is cooperating with the Netherlands for development of the braking system and its monitor, receives its first F-35 in November.