Following Norway's selection of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter over the Saab Gripen NG, the Norwegian government has taken the next formal step toward the acquisition.
The government has submitted to parliament the formal legislative bill for the F-35 procurement. The document spells out that Norway expects to start phasing the F-35 into its inventory between 2016-2020.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the announcement is that the government wants to keep a close eye on whether hoped-for industrial returns to Norwegian industry materialize. That may be a concession to Norway's industry, whose trade association concluded that buying Gripen would yield better returns.
In her submission to parliament, defense minister Anne-Grete Strom-Erichsen notes that Oslo, under its ministry for industry, has established a special project office to help push local return-on-investment. That’s got to be welcome news for Kongsberg, which is designing its Joint Strike Missile to fit in the JSF weapon bay.