Norway to reduce F-35 order?

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maus92

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Unread post12 Sep 2015, 13:55

There is an article in AWIN (paywall protected) that reports that Norway is considering reducing it F-35 buy as part of an overall restructuring of defense, possibly as a result of the recent decline in oil prices / royalties revenue. The report should surface in mainstream English language press outlets in the next few days.
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bring_it_on

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Unread post12 Sep 2015, 15:23

Norway has been considered one of the most reliable and consistent international partners in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, but substantial cuts to its planned 56-aircraft buy are among options in the nation’s current defense planning cycle.
The cuts may be included in the planning guidance that Norway’s chief of defense, Adm. Haakon Bruun-Hanssen, is expected to submit to the defense ministry on Oct. 1. These recommendations will form part of a White Paper to be delivered to Norway’s parliament next spring.

The principal concern is that Norway’s operating budget may not support such a large F-35 fleet. Norwegian national armaments director Morten Tiller confirmed to Aviation Week at the ComDef conference in Washington this week that the F-35 is expected to cost more to operate than the country’s F-16s, although program office director Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan said on the same occasion that the team is working hard to reduce costs and create an efficient worldwide support system.

Norway’s parliament has approved the purchase of 24 F-35s so far. Four aircraft are under contract and two are complete; the first one is to be formally unveiled in Fort Worth later this month before being delivered to the customer and joining a multinational training squadron at Luke AFB in Arizona.

In May, former Norwegian defense chief Sverre Diesen warned in the Aftenposten newspaper that, at current budget levels, the nation could maintain no more than 10-15 operational F-35s, resulting in “Norway’s largest investment scandal.” Other pressures on the defense budget include the renewed focus on operations in the Arctic “high North” region, which is causing priorities to shift toward replacing the air force’s P-3 Orion patrol airplanes and the navy’s six submarines. Norway has pledged to increase its defense spending to 2% of GDP, in common with other nations, but observers see little likelihood of an increase beyond the current 1.5% level.

Norway is also facing the possibility of paying the entire cost of integrating Kongsberg’s Joint Strike Missile on the F-35, Tiller said. Kongsberg teamed with Raytheon on JSM last year and had hoped for U.S. Navy interest in the weapon, which can be carried internally by the F-35A and F-35C. But the Navy’s near-term anti-ship weapon is the Lockheed Martin AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, carried by the Super Hornet. Norway expects the JSM to be part of the Block 4.2 upgrade package, which is close to its final definition stage. U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work visited Norway this week and met with Norway’s Secretary of State Oystein Bo.

The Saab Gripen NG was evaluated against the F-35 in Norway in 2008, but the U.S. made strong public and “even more forceful” private statements (according to WikiLeaks documents) in favor of the F-35 and Norway eventually declared that the F-35 was more capable and less costly than the Gripen. However, more recent Swedish and Norwegian budget estimates have shown that the 30-year life-cycle cost of Norway’s 56 F-35s is expected to be three times greater than that of Sweden’s 60 JAS 39Es.

Lockheed Martin and the JSF project office expect more than 250 international sales in the next five years, but only 30 are under contract.
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krorvik

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Unread post12 Sep 2015, 15:30

This is the official comment on the article from the norwegian program:

http://blogg.regjeringen.no/kampfly/201 ... happening/

The article from Sweetman should be considered speculation at best.
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Unread post12 Sep 2015, 16:09

The full article from the above link.
Here’s what’s happening with Norway’s F-35s

Publisert av Endre Lunde
11. september 2015

Long-term observer of the F-35, Bill Sweetman today published an article in Aviation Week stating that «Norway considers F-35 Order Cuts» and we wanted to provide a little more context to his article.

Last year our Minister of Defence, Ms. Ine Eriksen Søreide, initiated a new defence review process here in Norway, and as a result, on 1. October 2014, the Minister tasked the Chief of Defence, Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen with providing what can best be translated as a «Formal Military Advice» to the Ministry that would inform a subsequent Long-Term Plan/White Paper, expected in 2016. The advice commissioned by the Minister is to be delivered on 1. October 2015, one year after it started, and will include a broad and detailed review of the entirety of the Armed Forces – including our future Combat Aircraft arm. Any review which did not include this capability, which will be central to our future Armed Forces, would of course be incomplete. Until the formal military advice becomes public, we will not be able to comment on its contents, but it goes without saying that the Armed Forces, as part of their work, have looked at any number of scenarios and options, and we would be very surprised if they had not also considered the F-35 among them. This is a completely normal process, carried out at regular intervals, and one that is mirrored in most other countries.

In terms of the additional cost for operating the future F-35-fleet compared to today’s F-16-fleet it is important to know that this is something we have been aware of for quite some time, and which has already been taken into account in our planning processes. It was also part of the information presented to Parliament when they approved the procurement phase of the F-35 as part of the current Long Term Plan in 2012.

Finally, regarding the JSM, we have already allowed for the cost of Norway having to pay for the full development and integration of the missile on the F-35 (as described in this article from last year). The Norwegian Parliament passed a bill to that effect in June 2014. The reason why we are willing to do so is quite simple – the missile is essential to our ability to deter any adversary from the use of force against Norway. In combination with the F-35, the missile offers even a smaller nation like Norway the ability to strike even well defended targets at range, a capability that we have never had before. And while it is true that no other partner has joined us yet in the development and integration of the JSM on the F-35, it is clear that this kind of capability is of interest to several nations, including Australia, which has already agreed to look for ways to support its development.

(PS: just to clarify, we are planning to buy 52 aircraft, and we have received authority to begin procurement of 22 of them.)


In essence it is the usual BS and Manus backwash, trying to make a story out of nothing. I have seen no change in political will to maintain a strong air force in Norway. It's rather the opposite. With Norway's former PM Jens Stoltenberg as General Secretary of Nato, Norway is keen to show that we support Nato and its commitments to increase defense budgets. Does BS really think that the good admiral has not noticed the increased Russian activity in the north, and that he want's to reduce the number of his most potent defense against that threat? The Admiral may even ask for more, not less.

Of course BS can't write anything about the F-35 without mentioning his "6 generation" Gripen.
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Unread post12 Sep 2015, 16:36

BS = Bill Sweetman = Bull Sh..
Greetings to you all at the NSA and everybody else who is reading this on ECHELON.
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Unread post12 Sep 2015, 17:16

Thanks for all the updates to the 'maus92' mystery post by BS guys. I thought Oz had agreed to help Norway with JSM? The JSM threads will know....
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Unread post12 Sep 2015, 20:22

BS is doing his work allright.

But there is a few point of concern here.

The piece that Sverry Diesen wrote is totaly true, about Norway's current defence funding.
Even if Norway have a parlament approval to buy 22 F-35, lots of Things can unfold a few years Ahead.

Like if Norway does not get in incremental defence increase for 2015/16 defence Budget.

There are other procurment plans on the Norwegian defence ministry table, a new Upgrade to the Leo MBT, New CV-90 or upgrading Current CV-90.
There is New Subs and more expensive weapons system for Norway Navy's.. One and 1/2 operational Frigates(out of five!).. which really show Norways defence spending in a nutShell.
IMO they like to order big toys, but not enough funding to play With them..

So Sverre predicaments of the "15 operational F-35" stands at current Defence structure and Funding.
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arrow-nautics

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Unread post12 Sep 2015, 20:52

Sigh Maus92. I might be a pro JSF poster but if a legit "F-35 is garbage & should be hauled away as garbage" article ever hit the net - I'd post it.

Will you ever do the opposite? :doh:

Oh well, at least we can thank Maus92 for one thing. If any journalist runs a "F-35 is garbage & should be hauled away as garbage" article, I and others need not search it out or google negative news. Maus92 DELIVERS.

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Unread post12 Sep 2015, 20:53

They still may need the 22 or more, to have 15 operational. Australia has 24 super hornets to have 12 operational. If the definition of operational is the same.
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arrow-nautics

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Unread post12 Sep 2015, 21:14

I will give maus92 credit & Bill Sweatman credit on one score. Norway might be in the market for 52 F-35s but cutting its order significantly would make me ask one question: Why buy any F-35s at all?

Let the conspiracy theorist chime in - is this the (What has been alledged) manipulative evil LM cornering Norway in to JSF participation?
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XanderCrews

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Unread post12 Sep 2015, 22:16

maus92 wrote:There is an article in AWIN (paywall protected) that reports that Norway is considering reducing it F-35 buy as part of an overall restructuring of defense, possibly as a result of the recent decline in oil prices / royalties revenue. The report should surface in mainstream English language press outlets in the next few days.


Wow you paid for that?

How does that make you feel?
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krorvik

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Unread post12 Sep 2015, 22:36

Hehe... I've been lurking around here for a bit, and some of the replies here really confirm my observations.

Let's wait for the official version of that report shall we.

Heck, let's wait for decisions ;-)
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Unread post12 Sep 2015, 22:38

lamoey wrote:
Of course BS can't write anything about the F-35 without mentioning his "6 generation" Gripen.


The gripen ng is a joke. Not one European sale, voted out in Switzerland, after a leaked evaluation showed it was inferior to the legacy F-18.

Poverty airplane for nations that can't afford anything else, and classic underdog of discredited bill sweetman and Gripen fanboys who's love comes from very publicly massaged numbers and PR campaigns.

It lost in Norway because it's inferior to the F-16s they have now. We are supposed to be shocked they picked the F-35?? Not to mention the fact that the Gripen E still hasn't made its first flight and has been rejected by a series of air forces.

In 2008, the Gripen NG was a very immature concept. The demo hadn't even flown. There was a lot of skepticism about its ability to sell (good call eh?) And its numbers (the weight goal for NG was missed by a full 1000 KG)

Norway isn't stupid. Only swedens desire to keep saab going is why it exists at all. You didn't need wiki leaks to figure out the Gripen NG is a Piece of sh*t based on flawed assumptions.
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Unread post13 Sep 2015, 11:10

I'd like to think the Gripen NG has at least some merits. Saab and Brazil have just finalised a contract that is likely to ensure the development and the production of the program. Brazil may also end up ordering more than the 36 now envisioned. In the end it might just become the favoured F-16-like platform for European states that do not require/cannot afford more capable alternatives like the F-35/Rafale/Eurofighter.
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lamoey

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Unread post13 Sep 2015, 15:25

treebeard wrote:I'd like to think the Gripen NG has at least some merits. Saab and Brazil have just finalised a contract that is likely to ensure the development and the production of the program. Brazil may also end up ordering more than the 36 now envisioned. In the end it might just become the favoured F-16-like platform for European states that do not require/cannot afford more capable alternatives like the F-35/Rafale/Eurofighter.


Don't they show news about Brazil in the Nederlands? Brazils economy is in the tank, their bonds downgraded to close to junk. So the argument is that one of the worlds richest countries, on a slight decline, can't afford what they have planned, while a country close to bankruptcy may decide to spend even more than planned?

Under the current economical environment SAAB will be very lucky if any money comes out of Brazil.
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