1st NL pilot to fly F-35 JSF

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No image availableNL Times

For the time, Dutch fighter pilot Major Laurens Jan Vijge made a solo flight in an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, U.S., Nos reports.

Maj. Laurens Vijge dresses in his life support equipment prior to his first flight in the F-35A Lightning II Dec. 18 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. / U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.

Currently, the Netherlands has two aircraft at Eglin base. Dutch pilots will be trained here for operational testing and evaluation of the aircraft starting 2015.

The Netherlands' aircraft and personnel are incorporated into the U.S. Air Force's 58th Fighter Squadron at the 33rd Fighter Wing, Eglin Air Force Base said in a statement.

This is a historic moment, Minister Hennis-Plasschaert said on Twitter.

In September, the Dutch government said it will buy 37 JSF jets. The contract for the purchase of fighter jets is expected to be signed in 2015.