Norway yesterday announced the Joint Strike Fighter will replace its F-16s, passing over the Saab Gripen fighter, a procurement that could net JSF prime contractor Lockheed Martin orders for up to 48 aircraft, which Myles Walton, an investment research analyst with Oppenheimer & Co., estimates could be worth $8.5 billion.
In a statement, the Norwegian Ministry of Defence said:
The JSF is the only candidate which fulfills all the operational requirements specified by the Norwegian Government and is furthermore offered at a lower price than the Gripen NG. The selection of the Joint Strike Fighter rests upon a clear recommendation from Project Future Combat Aircraft Capability. External auditors have concluded that the evaluation has been carried out in a professional and ethically sound manor.
Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen, the defence minister, said in the statement that she expects Norwegian industry to play a key part in JSF production.
An investment of this magnitude offers substantial opportunities for Norwegian industry. Throughout the process, the Government has communicated clearly to the candidates the significance of securing industrial opportunities, and the results of that focus is clearly evident today.
-- Jason Sherman