Norway is continuing its development work on a new anti-ship missile that is expected to arm its future fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35As.
Oslo's new defence White Paper outlines a plan to introduce a ship-launched Naval Strike Missile in the 2013-2016 period. This will provide the basis for an air-launched Joint Strike Missile (JSM), which will be suitable for carriage within the F-35's internal weapons bays.
Kongsberg is leading development work on both weapons, with the company and the Norwegian defence ministry having lobbied Lockheed to include integration of the JSM as part of a future Block 4 software update to the F-35.
"JSM is expected to complete development in 2018, and Norway is cooperating closely with the US government through a bilateral working group, mandated to explore the possibilities for JSM integration on the F-35 as a multinational effort," the Norwegian defence ministry says.
"The goal is to meet the Norwegian and other partner nation's requirements for an anti-surface warfare capability on the F-35 in the 2020 timeframe."
Kongsberg has already struck its first international sale with the Naval Strike Missile design, with the Polish navy having ordered the weapon for surface-launched coastal defence applications.
Norway earlier this month confirmed its intention to buy an operational fleet of 48 conventional take-off and landing F-35As between 2017 and 2024, with these to follow an initial batch of four to be acquired to support its air force's training requirements. Oslo's current estimate for the Joint Strike Fighter purchase totals NKr60 billion ($10.5 billion).