Norway Voices Support for F-35 in Budget Proposal
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics got good news recently when the Norwegian government reaffirmed its commitment to continue buying the stealthy F-35 joint strike fighter.
Norway’s defense department — which has always said it planned to buy 52 planes — told its parliament in a 2017 budget proposal that it plans to purchase 12 planes in the 2019 and 2020 “block buys,” making it the first international partner to make such a multiyear purchase, an official said.
“They continue to stay strong in the program and it shows the confidence they have in the F-35,” said Ken Ross, a spokesman for Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, where the airplane is built. The F-35 moves at supersonic speeds and has stealth capabilities.
By committing to buying the F-35 in a future block, the economy of scale will help drive down the cost to the desired $80 million to $85 million per plane, from $112 million per copy in 2013. F-35 customers plan on procuring about 450 aircraft from 2018 to 2020.
“Norway and other international partners on the F-35 program have been involved in the concept of a block buy since its inception,” said Joe DellaVedova, a Pentagon spokesman for the F-35 program. “Due to vast economies of scale, all countries will achieve significant reductions on the price of their jets.”