WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin will be testing whether its F-35 jets can battle an icy runway.
According to a company statement, the F-35 Lightning II testing is part of the certification process for the Royal Norwegian Air Force. It will continue over the next several weeks in Alaska.
The initial testing is the first of two phases to make sure the F-35 can operate in the challenging weather conditions. The second phase of testing will be in 2018 and test the Norwegian drag chute’s landing capabilities.
Weather has posed some challenges for the F-35 in the past. Early development revealed the need for modifications for lightning protection — a problem with the electrical and fuel tank systems that were fixed. The issue resurfaced earlier this year in Australia, however, when the F-35 had to depart the March Avalon Airshow early, because the modifications had not yet been completed on the two visiting Australian aircraft.