Norway's parliament on 11 December authorised the latest tranche of spending on its acquisition of 52 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, approving funding for the next batch of six aircraft.

Totaling NKr5.9 billion ($964 million), Oslo's spending plan includes NKr4 billion to acquire six conventional take-off and landing F-35As for delivery to the Royal Norwegian Air Force in 2018. The remaining NKr1.9 billion will cover the purchase of four simulators, armour-piercing ammunition from Norway-based Nammo for test and integration work on the aircraft, Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and the first package of deployable spares for the JSF.

Funding for the acquisition will still have to be allocated on an annual basis, however, says the Norwegian defence ministry.

Norway had already committed to ordering its first 10 F-35As, including four examples for pilot training which will be based in the USA, to start replacing its in-service fleet of Lockheed F-16AM fighters.