Norway Signs on to JSF Production Phase, But Keeps Options Open
Norway’s Forsvardsdepartmentet has issued a release saying that Defence Minister Anne-Grete Strom-Erichsen has decided to sign the production phase agreement for the Joint Strike Fighter Program, joining Australia, Britain, Canada, and The Netherlands to date. The Minister said:
“We now believe that the industrial cooperation plans have become significantly more concrete, and based on an overall evaluation have therefore decided to move into the production phase. We have always been very explicit with regards to emphasizing the importance of industrial cooperation. I am also pleased that we have achieved our goal of maintaining competition between the three contenders and expect to have agreements on development cooperation with all three candidates before long… The signing of the JSF production phase agreement will take place shortly, but an exact date has yet to be decided.”
See our coverage of Kongsberg’s sort-of contracts to see most of the “industrial cooperation” (read: defense contract handouts) in question. Of course, as DID noted, there are other fighter contenders as well. The French Rafale has been dropped from the competition, but Saab-BAE’s JAS-39N Gripen variant and the EADS-BAE Eurofighter are still in the mix, giving BAE Systems a stake in all 3 competitors. Strom-Erichsen also added:
“The negotiations with JAS Gripen and Eurofighter which commenced early January 2007 are well on track… Progress has also been made in the negotiations over development agreements with the two other candidates in the combat aircraft acquisition project, JAS Gripen and Eurofighter.”
- Norwegian Ministry of Defence (Jan 26/07) – Industripakkane i sÃ¸kelyset. Includes presentations from the contenders.
- DID (May 21/07) – Norway Renews Eurofighter Development Agreement.
- DID (May 2/07) – Norway Signs Development Agreement for JAS-39N Gripen
- Norway formally signed the MoU on January 31, 2007,.