Norway to reduce F-35 order?

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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krorvik

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Unread post18 Nov 2016, 11:40

The long term plan approval also secures P-8s and new submarines, and determines other elements, like closing down Andøya (P-3Cs), and moving surveillance (P-8s) to Evenes. And, as an old border guard, I'm happy to see my old unit being strengthened.

The decision was secured among all the major parties, government Conservative and Progress party, plus the largest leftwing party, Labour.

Contrary to some statements here, there has been NO SWAY in Norway for the F-35 program. All the noise has come from smaller parties, with, in my opinion, a rather weak understanding of military realities (Typical focus has been army, mainland defence first)

Really happy to see this nailed down properly either way.

There is much talk in norwegian news today about the budgetary talks amongs the government parties, and their supporters. The chance of government falling is increasing day by day. This will not move the long term plan though - it only changes who gets to form the budgets - which must also pass parliament. And, the long term plan has strong support there. No need to make fuzz for that. There are never any guarantees, but things are as strong as they need to be.
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Unread post25 Nov 2016, 14:58

Norwegian DoD today announced budget requests to acquire 5 P-8s in the period 2021-2022. The order is expected to amount to 10Bn NOK. Source in norwegian:

https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokumente ... 21433/sec1

Not approved yet, but is expected to pass parliament.
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Unread post28 Jan 2017, 00:26

As F-35 Comes Online, Norway to Scrap F-16 Fleet
27 Ja 2017 Aaron Mehta

"BODØ AIR STATION, NORWAY – As the Norwegian air force prepares to bring its first three F-35 joint strike fighters to Norwegian soil, the government is taking a simple approach to disposing of its aging F-16 fleet.

Rather than trying to deal with the complicated politics of reselling them or paying the cost of maintaining the older fighters as a reserve, the Ministry of Defense plans to scrap its collection fifty-plus Fighting Falcons, officials said during a visit here January 19.

Defense News visited Norway this month as part of a group organized by the Atlantic Council and funded by the Norwegian government. All participants accepted travel and accommodations during the tour.

The government plans to shut down the 56-plane fleet at the end of 2021, replacing it with a slightly smaller but more capable fleet of 52 F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing variants. Norway will take possession of six F-35s in 2017, with three going to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, which is the US center for training international partners on the Lockheed Martin-designed plane (Norway already has four F-35s at Luke).

Three others are expected to arrive in Norway in early November. From 2018 onward, planes will be delivered directly to Norway, with six new planes arriving each year. Norway plans for the planes to be declared operational in 2019.

The F-16s will still be operated through the end of 2021, although the number of flight hours will drop as the newer jets arrive. Currently the F-16 fleet logs around 7,000 hours per year; that will drop to around 3,000 by 2021, officials here said. Pilots over the age of 40 have been barred from re-training on the F-35, in order to make sure the F-16 has a dedicated pilot core until it is fully retired....

...The military facilities at Bodø, which have housed F-16s since they came into service, will no longer be home to fighter jets. The majority of the F-35 fleet will instead be hosted at Ørland Main Air Station, with a few kept at the more northern Evenes air base to protect the P-8 maritime surveillance fleet...."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/articles/as- ... f-16-fleet
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Unread post28 Jan 2017, 00:37

I'll take one.
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krorvik

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Unread post28 Jan 2017, 15:01

Lara Seligman @ Aviationweek has also been to Ørland, however this is behind their paywall:

http://aviationweek.com/combat-aircraft ... high-north

Hoping for that to become available for free later.
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Unread post30 Jan 2017, 18:09

This article may be seen entirely if one registers for FREE - so please do so - 'becuz I say so' & I'm paid by AVweak for that.
Norway Fears Lockheed Not Ready To Support F-35
27 Jan 2017 Lara Seligman

"OSLO, Norway—As Norway readies to welcome its first F-35s in country in just nine short months, top defense officials here worry Lockheed Martin won’t be ready to support the new fleet.

The nation plans to begin operating the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) almost as soon as it arrives on Norwegian soil in November, according to air force officials. But while Lockheed has proved it can successfully deliver aircraft from the production line, the company has yet to show it will have a reliable system in place to support the aircraft on “day two,” says Maj. Gen. Morten Klever, Norway’s program director for F-35.

Norway has identified a number of “risk areas,” and is currently working with the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO), Lockheed and engine maker Pratt & Whitney to mitigate those risks, Klever says.

“They will start training for initial operating capability immediately and everything needs to be in place for them to do that,” Klever says. “Is the industry ready to support and sustain the aircraft in Norway? There is a risk right now.”

Lockheed and the partners are setting up roughly 30 F-35 bases internationally between now and 2020, a massive undertaking, Klever says. In particular, Klever is concerned about Lockheed’s ability on day two to provide the necessary spare parts, equipment and support, while at the same time navigating the specific laws and regulations of Norway and eight other partner countries.

“I think Lockheed Martin really needs to step up the work on sustainment,” Klever says. “After all, the partners are expecting a seamless global sustainment solution.”

Chief of the Royal Norwegian Air Force Brig. Gen. Tonje Skinnarland echoes Klever’s concerns, adding that she is keeping a close eye on some “critical deviations” that have emerged recently.

“We are on a very tight plan, a very tight schedule, and everything is linked together,” Skinnarland says. “If we drift off the plan for any reason it will affect our ability to be operational along the path we have.”

Lockheed pushed back on these concerns, pointing to the arrival of the first F-35s in country for the Israeli air force in December 2016 as proof the company will be ready to support Norway’s F-35s. Working with Lockheed, Israel successfully launched a two-ship flight just 16 hr. after the aircraft touched down, company spokesman Mike Rein says.

“In the six weeks since the arrival, the IAF has met or exceeded all of their flying objectives and the aircraft and system remain in a ready state,” Rein says. “We are confident that it will be a similar case when Norway’s F-35s arrive in country for the first time.”

Italy’s F-35s, which arrived at Amendola air base in December, also are flying sorties according to plan with Lockheed’s support, Rein adds. The company expects similar successes at U.S. Naval Air Station Lemoore once F-35C operations begin there.

Meanwhile, the men and women on the ground at Ørland Main Air Station are doing their part to stand up the first Norwegian F-35 squadron. But the transition from F-16 to F-35 is just one piece of a sweeping modernization effort across Norway’s armed forces. As it introduces new equipment like F-35, Boeing’s P-8 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), and new search-and-rescue (SAR) helicopters, Norway is re-structuring bases across the country to streamline operations in a tight fiscal environment. The government is consolidating the air force organization, recently shuttering the air wing at Bodo that was home to two F-16 squadrons, one of which has now been deactivated in anticipation of the F-35. At the same time, Norway also will close Andoya, currently the main maritime patrol base, once the legacy P-3 MPA fleet is retired.

Ørland will become the nation’s main combat airbase, eventually home to two F-35 squadrons—the historic 332 and 331 squadrons, which flew Spitfires in World War II—advanced air and base defense forces, and an upgraded SAR helicopter detachment. It must also be able to accommodate deployments of allied aircraft, in particular the NATO Airborne Warning and Control System. The new P-8s will be based at Evenes air base north of the Arctic Circle, along with forward-deployed F-35s, to hunt for Russian submarines.

“We need to be more lean and more effective, and use our finances in a better way, but we also have to change our perception to network centric warfare,” [a la RAAF Project Jericho] says Col. Aage Lyder Longva, commander of the 132 Air Wing.

The Norwegian Defense Estate Agency (NDEA) began building the support infrastructure for F-35 at Ørland in May 2015, with the goal of getting the basic equipment in place for operations by the time the first aircraft arrive. The outer shell of the new F-35 facility is already complete; now, Longva is waiting on Lockheed to install the eight simulators and necessary equipment for the Autonomic Logistics and Information System, the maintenance backbone of the new fleet.

To protect the new F-35s from prying eyes, base personnel are building a dirt wall around the outer perimeter, says Olaf Dobloug, chief of combat aircraft base construction with the NDEA. They also are updating and extending the runway by 300 meters, and adding new navigational and lighting systems.

Altogether, Norway has estimated readying both Ørland and Evenes to accommodate new aircraft across the force—including infrastructure modernization and building new facilities—will cost 10 billion kroner, or about $1.3 billion, Longva says. Just over half of that will go exclusively toward supporting the F-35, he notes.

While much of the upgrade is focused on what happens inside base walls, Longva and Olaf also must keep in mind the surrounding area. A significant portion of the funds will go to noise abatement, partially due to stricter environmental regulations recently established by the Norwegian government and local authorities. By law the NDEA must offer to buy the private houses in the “red zone,” where noise from the existing F-16s and future F-35s will be the worst. If the residents choose to stay, the NDEA must install insulation into residents’ walls to protect against the noise.

Norway, Lockheed and the F-35 Joint Program Office clearly have a long way to go to prepare for the arrival of the JSF. But the new aircraft is not just a replacement for the legacy F-16 that Norway currently relies on to be its eyes and ears in the North Atlantic, Skinnarland says. The air force must fundamentally change its thinking to take full advantage of the new, fifth-generation capability.

“We have to be able to utilize the airframe in new ways, not continue in the same ways we have used the F-16,” Skinnarland says. “We have to develop concepts on how to operate, what’s the capabilities and possibilities of the new aircraft.”

Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/norway- ... pport-f-35
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Unread post28 Mar 2017, 01:47

Long article best read there
NORWEGIAN F-35 PILOT: ‘WE ARE ON TRACK

He was the first Royal Norwegian Air Force pilot to fly the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II in November 2015. Since then, he flew the jet for 170 hours, all of those at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, where he now serves as an instructor pilot. Right now, he and his Royal Norwegian Air Force colleagues begin preparations to ferry three F-35s to Norway later this year. It will be the first outing for the jet in the cold Nordic region. So, plenty of reasons for a chat with Morten ‘Dolby’ Hanche, who says fighting an F-16 in an F-35 is an ‘uneven fight’ – in favor of the new jet.

AHF: Hi! Can you describe your previous flight experience for us?
Hanche: “Most of my previous flight experience was in the F-16, which I flew for more than 2200 hours. I am a graduate from the a US Navy Test Pilot School In Patuxent River. After having flown the F-35 for 170 hours, I can now say I am starting to feel “at home” in the airplane. Combined, the number of flight hours by Norwegian F-35 pilots now stands at 800 hours..."

http://airheadsfly.com/2017/03/27/norwa ... -on-track/
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Unread post28 Mar 2017, 11:18

zerion wrote:Long article best read there
NORWEGIAN F-35 PILOT: ‘WE ARE ON TRACK

He was the first Royal Norwegian Air Force pilot to fly the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II in November 2015. Since then, he flew the jet for 170 hours, all of those at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, where he now serves as an instructor pilot. Right now, he and his Royal Norwegian Air Force colleagues begin preparations to ferry three F-35s to Norway later this year. It will be the first outing for the jet in the cold Nordic region. So, plenty of reasons for a chat with Morten ‘Dolby’ Hanche, who says fighting an F-16 in an F-35 is an ‘uneven fight’ – in favor of the new jet.

AHF: Hi! Can you describe your previous flight experience for us?
Hanche: “Most of my previous flight experience was in the F-16, which I flew for more than 2200 hours. I am a graduate from the a US Navy Test Pilot School In Patuxent River. After having flown the F-35 for 170 hours, I can now say I am starting to feel “at home” in the airplane. Combined, the number of flight hours by Norwegian F-35 pilots now stands at 800 hours..."

http://airheadsfly.com/2017/03/27/norwa ... -on-track/

VFMA-121 @ Elmendorf AFB on the way to Iwakuni, kind a chilly, today, 27degF@30% precip....brrrr!
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Unread post15 Sep 2017, 16:23

LM F-35 GM Weekly Update
07 Sep 2017 Jeff Babione

"Team Luke Flies 1000th Norwegian Sortie
In other international news, the Norwegian F-35As at Luke AFB completed their 1000th sortie last week. This is an exciting time for Norway and the F-35 program as they prepare to receive their first in country F-35As this November. Completing 1000 sorties gives Norway confidence in this aircraft as they begin to revolutionize their fleet to F-35As...."

Source: https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... 9_7_17.pdf (0.2Mb)
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Unread post03 Oct 2017, 21:06

The norwegian program manager has posted a new post:

http://nettsteder.regjeringen.no/kampfl ... til-norge/

Translation:

https://translate.google.com/translate? ... edit-text=

Long post made short, three birds are soon ready to leave for Ørland MAB, on schedule.

A nice picture of the nozzle feathers in one shot. Note the perforations on the inside:

Image
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Unread post03 Oct 2017, 21:36

Attachments
F-35enginePetalsZOOM.jpg
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Unread post04 Oct 2017, 02:11

IIRC these are Norway's first 3F aircraft?
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Unread post04 Oct 2017, 19:06

The three to be delivered shortly, and be flown across the pond are 3F, yes. The 7 @Luke AFB are 3i - and face an easy upgrade path when it suits the squadron.

Edit: the previous post at the same blog details this a bit more:

https://translate.google.com/translate? ... edit-text=
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Unread post04 Oct 2017, 19:50

spazsinbad wrote:F-135 nozzle feathers ZOOM JPG: http://nettsteder.regjeringen.no/kampfl ... 0016PR.jpg


Those look like grooves or something on the white part in the nozzle. Perhaps they are there to mix up the exhaust to make the heat dissipate more easily?
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Unread post04 Oct 2017, 21:20

Something like that. Or simply increasing surface area?
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