Norway Opts for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

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The Norwegian Minister of Defence, Ms. Anne-Grete Strøm Erichsen, recommends that the F-16 is replaced by the American F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)

11/24/2008 :: Lockheed Martin’s JSF is the only candidate which fulfils all the operational requirements specified by the Norwegian Government and is furthermore offered at a lower price than the Gripen NG. The selection of the Joint Strike Fighter rests upon a clear recommendation from Project Future Combat Aircraft Capability. External auditors have concluded that the evaluation has been carried out in a professional and ethically sound manor.

– Combat aircraft is a crucial capability for Norway’s defence. The procurement of new combat aircraft is therefore an essential element in the Government’s Long-term Defence Plan, states Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

– Both candidates’ performance have been evaluated against a number of different scenarios. The scenarios used in this evaluation are the same as the ones used in the Long-term Defence Plan, says Minister of Defence Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen.

–  The Joint Strike Fighter is considered to be the better of the two candidates regarding intelligence and surveillance, counter air, air interdict and anti-surface warfare, says Strøm-Erichsen.

– An investment of this magnitude offers substantial opportunities for Norwegian industry. Throughout the process, the Government has communicated clearly to the candidates the significance of securing industrial opportunities, and the results of that focus is clearly evident today, states Minister of Defence Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen.

The Government underlines that from a Norwegian security policy viewpoint, both candidates have been fully acceptable. Nordic defence and security cooperation will proceed independently of the procurement of new combat aircraft and will receive our continued support.

– We are pleased that we have conducted a transparent, just and credible competition and that the candidates themselves so far have confirmed this. I would also like to credit the Swedish and American authorities and the suppliers, SAAB and Lockheed Martin, for the professional manner in which they have supported this demanding process, declares Strøm-Erichsen.

(Norwegian MoD Press Release)

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