Norway and Australia to cooperate on advanced maritime strike weapon for the F-35A

Australia will cooperate with the Norwegian Ministry of Defence to develop an advanced maritime strike weapon for the F-35A Joint Strike Fighters, the Minister for Defence, Kevin Andrews announced today.

Mr Andrews said Australian cooperation on the Norwegian Joint Strike Missile, under development by Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, would ensure the weapon capability would be available for Air Force’s future fleet of F-35A Joint Strike Fighters.

“This agreement builds on the countries’ long-standing bilateral cooperation on research and development of Defence equipment, and acknowledges the importance of a robust maritime strike capability to Norway and Australia.

“Participating now in a cooperative JSM development program with Norway will maximise the cost effectiveness of Australia’s contribution, and ensure the weapon capability is developed and integrated onto the F-35A in the timeline required by Australia, should the Joint Strike Missile be ultimately considered for acquisition by Government later this decade.

“Australian industry will participate in the development of the JSM by providing specialist expertise in missile guidance and control technology,” he said.

Norway intends to procure up to 52 F-35A aircraft to enhance the ability of its Armed Forces to meet future security challenges, and will field the Joint Strike Missile early in the next decade.

Australia has committed to procuring 72 F-35A aircraft, out of a planned 100, aimed at developing the next generation of Australian air combat power.

Australia’s first two F-35A aircraft were delivered in 2014, and are now based at the F-35 International Pilot Training Centre at Luke Air Force Base Arizona where they will be used to support the training of Australian pilots later this year.