Norway MAY scrap its NKr10.7 billion ($1.2 billion) fighter competition, substitute instead a new procurement in 2010. The Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockheed Martin F-16 are battling for the order, for 20 fighters with 15 options.

A review of the funding of all Norwegian military procurements is in process, with the defence ministry due to present a report to parliament by the middle of next month.

A related report - Defence Study 2000 - is being prepared for the Norwegian head of the armed forces, Gen Sigurd Frisvold, by Brig Sverre Diesen. Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv quotes Diesen as saying" that the study advises a postponement of the purchase of fighters until 2010-12". Diesen told the newspaper that Frisvold supports the proposal. The Ministry of Defence declines to comment.

Delaying a fighter purchase until 2010-12 would coincide with the likely retirement date of its Lockheed Martin F-16s and allow Norway to consider the Joint Strike Fighter.

Source: Flight International