Apr 11 2011

Norway: F-35A purchase delayed; first contract proposal

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl om 18:22 onder Andere JSF landen

The Norwegian government is again a step closer in their plans to acquire the F-35 by proposing the Parliament to confirm the purchase of an initial batch of four F-35 jets in 2016. Based on new U.S. cost data the overall cost has increased about 10%.

The government’s proposal of April 6, 2011 needs to be approved by Parliament, is in line with the earlier decision of December 2008 to procure the F-35 for its F-16 replacement.

Minister Grete Faremo said to the Norwegian Aftenposten “Acquisition of the four planes is an important step to maintain a satisfactory operational combat aircraft capacity in the transition phase between the F-16 and F-35″.

However, there are some remarkable changes in comparison with the original plan of 2008:
- The first batch of 4 F-35A’s will be based in the U.S. for training purposes.
- The first batch is only 50% of the original planned 8 aircraft
- The second and later batches are postponed two years
- The deliveries are postponed from 2016-2020 into the 2018-2021 timeframe.

The first four jets - to be delivered in 2016 - are expected to cost NOK 4.8 billion (US$ 744 million; US$ 186 million per unit, including related spare parts/equipment). Norwegian Defense has informed the Parliament that later F-35A’s will be less expensive.

The acquisition of all 48 - 56 jets, weapons, logistics and support, training, infrastructure and equipment is estimated now at NOK 52 billion (US$ 8 billion or € 5,75 billion in 2011-value). This means an all-in weapon system price of about US$ 143 million (> € 100 million). The Norwegian MoD says this is based on new information from the manufacturer and the U.S. government, and is about 10% higher than projected estimates from 2008 of NOK 42 billion.

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