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Air Warfare

Kongsberg continues F-35 production participation and prepares surplus F-16s for sale

26th March 2021 - 14:52 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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F-35 Lot 15 to Lot 17 production will include components from Kongsberg. (Photo: Kongsberg)

Lockheed Martin orders Kongsberg components for Lot 15-Lot 17 production F-35s. Meanwhile, Kongsberg's MRO division is preparing at least two ex-Royal Norwegian Air Force F-16s for resale.

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace on 25 March announced a NOK1.7 billion ($200 million) deal with Lockheed Martin for involvement in Lot 15 to Lot 17 production of the F-35 Lightning II multirole combat aircraft.

The deal covers delivery of rudders, vertical leading edges and main landing gear closeout panels for more than 500 aircraft.

Terje Bråthen, EVP of aerostructures at Kongsberg, said that ‘this contract secures work for the next four years, as well as positioning us for continued participation in future production lots’.

Meanwhile, Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services (KAMS) is maintaining and preparing for sale surplus Norwegian F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, under a contract from the Norwegian Defence Material Agency.

The deal, worth an undisclosed amount, covers two F-16s with the option to overhaul up to three more. If that option is exercised, work on the contract will be completed by the end of 2021.

‘The aircraft will be made ready for sale to new owners, and the Norwegian Defence Material Agency expects to achieve commercial re-sale agreements for the upgraded aircraft,’ KAMS announced on 24 March.

Jonny Otterlei, technical director at the Norwegian Defence Material Agency, said: ‘Several nations will be selling their F-16 aircraft in the near future. Our market surveys show it’s a good idea to create an attractive offer as regards the aircraft’s quality and remaining flight time.’

According to Shephard Defence Insight, Norway procured a total of 74 F-16A/B Block 1, 5, 10 and 15 aircraft, including two attrition replacement platforms, between 1980 and 1989 as one of the initial NATO customers.

All 57 aircraft in the Royal Norwegian Air Force inventory have been upgraded in an MLU and will remain in service until F-35s gradually replace them by 2024. 

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