State secretary Øystein Bø in the ministry of Defence held this speech when he visited NAMMO and Raufoss June 27th 2017.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for the opportunity to be here at such an important event. The last time I was here, it was all about Maria. Not the Maria in West Side story, but Maria the rocket fuel mixer, the twin sister of the first mixer “with no name”, although we agreed then that Josef could be a could be a fitting name. Ensuring the redundancy that demonstrates NAMMO’s commitment towards security of supply; Having two mixers also makes NAMMO stand out among the four producers of rocket motors worldwide, as the only one having this redundancy.
This time it is not about a new gadget. This time it is about marking yet another new chapter in the collaboration between NAMMO and Raytheon. Over the years, the excellent teamwork between these two companies has contributed significantly to their shared success. It is a pleasure for me to be attending this ceremony, marking such an important step in this prosperous relationship. I am particularly pleased with the important role the US Navy has taken in supporting this project.
As a supplier of cutting-edge rocket motor technology to Raytheon and other international partners, NAMMO has consistently proven itself as a trusted and reliable partner. To illustrate, - NAMMO is the sole source supplier rocket motors to ESSM and AMRAAM missiles used by US, Norwegian and many other nation’s Armed Forces.
The company’s commitment to customers’ needs is a key to their success. NAMMO now has production facilities in seven states in the US.
Not only is this presence across the US an assurance to US Armed Forces with regard to logistics and security of supply. It is also a significant contribution to local employment and revenue.
Based on the two companies’ past performance, I am convinced that the new contract between NAMMO Aerospace Propulsion and Raytheon Missile Systems will bring about yet another success.
Development and qualification of NAMMO’s rocket motor for the Sidewinder AIM-9X is planned to culminate in full-scale production by fall 2019. Among the many platforms that will be using this missile system are our F-35 combat aircraft.
The industrial partnership between NAMMO and Raytheon reflects the excellent relationship between the people of the United States and Norway, and between our defence industries.
I am proud that this project has been supported by Norwegian and US authorities, and is part of the US Navy Program of Record.
In my view, this new contract between NAMMO and Raytheon illustrates a bilateral relationship based on strategic cooperation, interdependency, and trust. Needless to say that these are all factors that contribute to strengthening the bonds between our two nations. A promising new prospect in this context is the recent establishment of NAMMO Energetics at the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Indian Head in Maryland.
The so-called Public-Private Partnerships between this naval facility and industry is rather new concept, building a new and innovative cooperation for the benefit of the Armed forces and the industry.
Another promising initiative is the Missile Development agreement between Raytheon, NAMMO, Kongsberg and the Ministry of Defence, signed this winter. This initiative aims at developing extended range AMRAAM missiles and involves possible future sales to third party nations, in addition to Norway and the US.
Over the years, defence trade has evolved gradually to become an important dimension of our bilateral relationship, for the benefit of our respective armed forces and industry.
Earlier, this has mainly been a one-way street, as Norway imports about 70 % of our defence equipment, about half of it from the US.
Now however, as demonstrated by the NAMMO-Raytheon collaboration, there is a new dynamic, in which innovative and competitive Norwegian made defence technology attract the attention of US industry and US Armed Forces.
I believe that the future holds even more promise for this type of industrial cooperation. Therefore, the Norwegian Ministry of Defence has made it a priority to promote and support it through our industrial participation regime.
The Ministry of Defence has also initiated a promising dialogue with the Department of Defence to explore how we can eliminate current hurdles to technology transfer, and promote reciprocal opportunities in bidding for defence contracts. This dialogue is ongoing.
Our key objective is to facilitate reciprocal technology transfer that can support a more rational use of industrial, economic, and technological resources in the U.S. and Norway, ensuring that our warfighters get the best military capabilities, in a timely manner and at the lowest cost. But, none of this would have happened without the skilled workforce of NAMMO. Their commitment and professionalism have made this adventure possible. They are the ones the warfighters should be grateful to. The Raytheon and NAMMO collaboration that we are marking today, clearly demonstrates the benefits of closer cooperation in the armaments field.
It is in this vein I wholeheartedly congratulate NAMMO and Raytheon. I wish you every success with the new project. It is my hope that our ambition to further facilitating activities like this will also in the future be successful.
I thank you for your attention.