Norway has been an active partner in the F-35 programme, with 18 Norwegian companies serving as Tier 1 suppliers. Subsequently, Norway decided to procure 52 F-35s to replace its ageing fleet of F-16s.The Kongsberg Group will provide the Norwegian Armed Forces with missiles for the country’s F-35 fighter jets. The contract involves Joint Strike Missiles (JSM), is worth NOK 4 billion (nearly $500 million), and is one of the largest arms acquisitions for the country’s Armed Forces, the news outlet E24 reported.“With this contract, we ensure a crucial capacity for our new fighter jets,” Norway’s newly-appointed Defence Minister Odd Roger Enoksen of the Centre Party said in a statement.The first missiles will be delivered in 2023, with the full contract expected to take several more years.
“The Joint Strike Missile can now help meet the complex and operational needs of the Norwegian Air Force by providing increased capability to the F-35 to defend important national interests,” Executive Vice President of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace Eirik Lie said in a press release.
According to the Kongsberg boss, the development of the missile has been ongoing since 2008, and production will now be stepped up sharply.
Enoksen emphasised that the government is aware of the fact large material investments in the Armed Forces create jobs in Norway.“Today’s missile contract shows that we have a competitive defence industry,” he said.“Coupled with growing international interest, this delivery will help to increase employment and strengthen the business for Kongsberg and our many subcontractors in the years to come,” Lie concurred.Dating back to 1814, Kongsberg Group is an international technology group that supplies high-technology systems and solutions in the merchant marine, defence, aerospace, offshore oil and gas industries, as well as renewable and utilities industries. Headquartered in the city of Kongsberg, it has nearly 7,000 employees in over 20 countries. It is majority-owned by the Norwegian government.
Norway has been an active partner in the development, production and support of the global F-35 fleet. Since the programme’s inception, 18 Norwegian companies have served as Tier 1 F-35 suppliers. Consequently, Norway decided to procure 52 F-35s to replace its ageing fleet of F-16s.The Royal Norwegian Air Force operates F-35A variant aircraft that include a drag chute to assist with landing in icy and slick conditions and to reduce landing distance on short airfields. Norway’s F-35 fleet operates from Ørland Air Base.In 2020, the Royal Norwegian Air Force conducted its first international deployment with the F-35 during NATO Air Policing missions in Iceland.
source : sputniknews.com