IN JUST two years, Kongsberg Group has climbed 23 places in the Top 100, with a rise of 12 positions in the past 12 months.
Led by Walter Qvam since 2007, the Norwegian technology group's aerospace-related divisions, Defence Systems and Aerostructures, won three major contracts in 2009, gaining income streams that will continue for several years.
Defence Systems won the group's largest-ever single contract when it was chosen, along with Raytheon, to provide Finland with an NKr3 billion ($480 million) NASAMS II air defence missile system.
Defence Systems was also awarded an NKr166 million contract by the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation in April 2009 to begin development of the joint strike missile, which is an air-launched multi-role development of the company's naval strike missile.
Although initially modest, the latter contract may have major significance for Kongsberg as the company says the joint strike missile will be the only anti-ship missile designed to fit inside the weapons bay of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.
This may be significant when the Joint Strike Fighter starts to be rolled out to air forces in the next few years, as it will provide an anti-ship capability without compromising the F-35's stealth qualities. Kongsberg and Lockheed have signed an agreement to integrate the missile on the aircraft. Production is due to start in 2013.
Another agreement signed with Lockheed will see Aerostructures fabricate advanced composite components from carbonfibre and titanium for the F-35.
Initially worth NKr460 million, the value of this work could rise as high as NKr2.5 billion in coming years, says the company. Its initial deliveries will support Lot 3 low rate initial production aircraft, which will begin the programme's transition to full rate production.
The parts will be produced at a new 30,000m² (323,000ft²) plant built in Kongsberg.
Production is under way and will last until 2015.