FORT WORTH, TX -- Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has formally recommended to his country's Parliament that Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II be selected to fulfill Norway's future air-combat capability requirements.
The F-35, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, was chosen based on its superior performance in "intelligence and surveillance, counter air, air interdict and anti-surface warfare," according to a statement from Norway's defense ministry.
"We're very pleased with the announcement and are committed to supporting the Norwegian government in moving forward with the F-35," said Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and manager of F-35 Program Integration. "The Lightning II will help ensure Norway's national security, and also brings substantial opportunities for Norwegian industry."
The F-35 is a supersonic, multi-role, 5th generation stealth fighter developed and funded by a consortium of nine countries, including Norway. It is designed to excel in both air-to-air and air-to-ground operations and features the most comprehensive and powerful avionics of any fighter ever produced. Norway plans to acquire 48 F-35s to replace older F-16s currently in service. The first F-35s would be delivered to Norway in 2016.
Norway was conducting a formal competition between the F-35 and the Saab Gripen NG. One other JSF partner nation, Denmark, is also conducting a competition for its next generation fighter and will announce its decision in 2009. All additional JSF partner nations have completed their analyses in favor of the F-35.
Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for 11 nations initially, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history.
Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.
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