UPDATE 12 DECEMBER 2013: Norwegian parliament has approved the proposal to buy an additional six F-35s, bringing the number on order to 16 as reported.
The new Norwegian right-wing government is asking the national parliament to agree to increase the mandate for ordering the new Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II with six units, up to 16 aircraft in total. The first delivery of the new batch of the stealthy multi-role fighter should start in 2018. The earlier should be ready in 2015 or 2016.
Eventually Norway plans to operate 52 F-35s (aka Joint Strike Fighter). The first four aircraft will stay in the United States for pilot and ground crew training, likely initially operating out of Eglin AFB in Florida where the currently produced Lightning IIs start their operational tests and join the training program.
The armed forces of Norway will be allocated millions extra, some of it designated for specified investments, some for ‘going’ operations. One of the wishes is to increase a new base for helicopter operations. Moreover the temporary military helicopter readiness and police support at Bardufoss, in the far north, will get more funds to make the chopper presence permanent in 2014.
Source: Regjeringen (Norwegian Government)
- Norway signed contract for first 2 F-35s, wants 52 fighters
- Dutch pilots to fly the F-35 by December 2013
- USA signs contract for 71 new F-35s, exports included