The wait is over. In autumn 2015, the first Norwegian F-35s are ready to hit the sky. The new fighters will improve the overall quality of the Norwegian Armed Forces, and they will make Norway safer.
Faster and better
Improved sensors and new hypermodern systems will let us monitor Norway's vast land and sea territories even faster and more efficiently. The new fighters will also give us a better understanding of the current situation. This will make it easier for the Armed Forces to assert Norway's sovereignty and to safeguard our political interests.
Several of our key allies and partners have also bought the F-35. A joint system of fighters will make multinational air operations and other military cooperation more seamless and efficient in the future.
In 2008, the Norwegian government chose the F-35A as Norway's new fighter. The American company Lockheed Martin produces the fighter, but an international development programme has developed much of the technology. Norway has been a member of this programme since 2002.
Norway plans to buy 52 new fighters, and as of 2015, Parliament has given authorisation to buy 22 of them.
Norway's F-35s will be equipped with the Norwegian-developed Joint Strike Missile. This is an air-launched version of the Norwegian Naval Strike Missile. The missile will be designed to fit the F-35's internal bay and to attack sea and land based targets, and with an improved range. The missile is developed through a partnership between Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace and the Norwegian Armed Forces.
The construction of the first Norwegian fighter, named AM-1, started in September 2013. On 9 April 2015, the AM-1 stood on its wheels for the first time. The construction of Norway's second jet, the AM-2, started in October 2013.
The AM-1 was rolled out on Tuesday 22 September, while the AM-2 will be delivered during autumn. The next two fighters will be delivered in 2016. AM-1 to AM-4 will all be stationed at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, Arizona. This is where Norwegian fighter pilots are educated, and the jets will be used for training.
The first F-35s arrive in Norway in 2017. The jets will be based at Ørland Main Air Station in Central Norway. There will be a forward operation base at Evenes Airport in Northern Norway.
According to plan, six new fighters will be delivered to Norway annually from 2017 to 2024. The first Norwegian F-35s will start operating in 2019, and in 2025 the complete Norwegian F-35 fleet will be operating on a full scale.