Norway considers pulling out of the JSF programThursday, April 15, 2004 - 08:33 PM Norway considers to pull out of the JSF project. At issue is Norway's part of the work share, which is one of the most common misunderstandings about the JSF project.Norway joined the U.S.-led consortium that develops the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in June 2002. In return for its $143 million contribution, Norwegian defense companies expected to get contracts from the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin. Now two years later, only negligible contracts have filtered down to Norwegian businesses. The chairwoman of the Norwegian parliament's defense committee, Marit Nybakk gave the United States until June to make good on the deal. There is however one thing that Norway might be overlooking namely the fact that the workshare for JSF is based on best value of the vendor doing the work, not just because of signing on to the JSF program and laying down some cash. The Norwegian government already made clear in the past that it has not excluded rival aircraft, like the Eurofighter, when the time comes to replace its F-16 MLU fleet. Norway is also involved in that project, too. Norway is expected to decide which fighters to buy before 2008. The planes will cost as much as US$40.5 billion to develop, according to Pentagon documents released in January. Other nations participating in the programme include the UK, Denmark, Canada, Italy, Turkey and Singapore. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have also shown interest in the plane, Bob Trice, senior vice-president for corporate development at the company, said last month.
For the first time Norway might buy a fighter that comes from a non-NATO country. Norweigian NRK today reported that the Norweigian Defence Forces is considering to change their old F-16 fighters against Swedish Gripen aircrafts. Originally Norway was supposed to choose the American F-35 oint Strike Fighter from Lockheed Martin as a replacement for the old F-16 planes. But the Norweigians are not happy with the American project. One of the reasons to this is that Norweigians have not been allowed to participate in the development of the Americans warplane. There is also some disputes over the American investments that is customary at larger military sales. - This far the Americans Joint Strike Fighter has been my favorite, but now the Swedes have entered the arena with a strong candidate, says Marit Nybakk in the Arbeiderparti (Labour) that is the chairman in the parliament´s defence council to NRK. The NATO-countries Czechia and Hungary has already bought the Swedish warplane.