Norway revises F-35 schedule

written by australianaviation.com.au | April 29, 2013
Norway has affirmed its commitment to the F-35.

The Norwegian government has requested approval from the country’s parliament  to buy six F-35 Lightning II aircraft for delivery in 2017, in a plan that sees it bring forward its initial purchase by a year but stretch out subsequent deliveries over a longer period.

Norway’s revised F-35 acquisition plans envisage delivery of six aircraft each year from 2017 until 2024. With four F-35s already being acquired for training purposes in 2015 and 2016, the total proposed Norwegian fleet size will reach a planned 52 aircraft.

“We have concluded convincingly that the F-35 is the only aircraft that fulfils our future operational requirements,” Norwegian Minister of Defence Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen said. “This continues to be true today and we have no time to lose. Our F-16s remain among the most capable aircraft of their kind, but they are also among the world’s oldest.”

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4 Comments

  • Steve

    says:

    If the Norwegians can start buying their operational squadrons in 2017 why can’t we.
    Oh I forgot – federal ALP is more interested in splurging on Gonski – a state responsibility under our constitution – than defending the country in a region with largest increase in defence spending!

  • David

    says:

    Combat ignorance through education rather than feed these festering fears and suspicion. Besides, aren’t the days of traditional warfare finishing up with this generation of fighters? Drones will rule the sky.

  • NJP

    says:

    Given the dramas with anything new – eg B787’s we’re probably best waiting for the problems to be fixed on the first batch

  • Darren

    says:

    I think Norway should decide to do what is in its best interests.

    I’ve read many reports on the current status of the F-35 program and firmly believe that it is yet to reach maturity. Concurrency is seeing increasing numbers of aircraft leaving factory which may require changes, possibly expensive changes. Such changes may not be possible, or economically realistic. Two instances are the weapons bay doors being subjected to higher than anticipated forces and high temperatures in the vertical stabilisers resulting in delaminating of stealth coatings. Neither has a present fix.

    Also of concern is the fact that some of the more challenging test points in the program have not been undertaken which may reveal further issues. Present training is limited and no operational capability is yet available.

    Delaying acquisition has a number of positives. We acquire more mature aircraft that are operationally relevant. It also puts pressure on the manufacture to push the program along and deliver the aircraft as per promised spec.

    The storage of F-111’s until the right fixes were made was prudent, so to is a similar course with the F-35.

    Still of concern is the recent moving of the specifications to suit the aircraft. Both Acceleration and turn performance will still be relevant should the aircraft enter into a visual environment. As on the F-22 these factors were still important to the design. National access to codes and spares raises concern over our autonomy. Lastly it has but one engine. If for any reason this stops (ie FOD damage -aka birds) we have a very expensive wreck. Two of the above problems can’t be fixed, and the third unlikely.

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