Norway has declared initial operating capability (IOC) status for its Lockheed Martin F-35As, with the milestone having been reached on 6 November.
The achievement followed a deployment to Rygge air station to check that the aircraft could be successfully operated away from its home base of Orland.
Norway is third European country after Italy and the UK to reach the IOC milestone.
Oslo has conducted two years of test and evaluation activities with its F-35s, including a focus on the fighter’s cold-weather capabilities.
Since receiving its first three examples of the fighter in November 2017, the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s fleet has grown to 22 aircraft. Of these, seven are stationed at Luke AFB in the USA as part of a multi-national training component.
Next year, Norway will deploy its F-35s to Iceland to conduct NATO air-policing missions. By 2022, the country will perform quick reaction alert missions with the fighters from Evenes air base in the north of the country.