Norway defers some F-35 orders by two years

Washington DC
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Norway has pushed back orders for 16 of 20 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters by two years to 2018, but reaffirmed its commitment as a "serious and credible partner" in the programme.

The Norwegian defence ministry announced on 25 September that it will buy four F-35s in 2016 to serve as trainers, but that the remaining aircraft planned for purchase in 2016 and 2017 will be postponed until 2018.

Oslo originally planned to order as many as 48 F-35s over the five-year period from 2016 to 2020.

lockheed martin f-35a pair jsf, lockheed martin
 © Lockheed Martin
Norway has delayed orders for 16 of 20 Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighters by two years to 2018

The defence ministry also says Norway's industry has received contracts worth $350 million so far on the F-35 programme, and could receive $5 billion more in new deals over the life of the programme.

Despite the order deferral, the F-35 remains a "cornerstone of future defence," the defence ministry says.

The Royal Norwegian Air Force can also reach full operational capability with the F-35 before its Lockheed F-16s are retired, it says. The service currently operates 57 F-16A/Bs, delivered between 1980 and 1989, as listed in Flightglobal's MiliCAS database.