A new agreement between the F-35 multinational program office and aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin means that the unit price for the Norwegian F-35 fighter jets will fall by about 10 percent.
“The unit price for the F-35 is thus below our previous forecasts. Cost-reduction measures, good negotiations and cooperation in a partnership are now showing results. This is very positive and strengthens our confidence in this acquisition,” said Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen.
“The fighter jets are delivered on time, with better performance than expected and with a lower unit price than planned,” he added.
The average unit price for the next 18 fighter aircraft Norway will have in the next three years will be approximately US $ 81.6 million. The planes that landed on Ørland in September this year had a unit price of US $ 90.2 million.
Lower unit prices on our next fighter aircraft
Thanks to the negotiations that the multinational partnership has conducted with Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney, we have achieved significantly lower unit prices than was estimated. The Norwegian airplanes are about $ 1.5 million more expensive than the US fighter jets: This is due to the installation of Norwegian software, Norwegian brands on the aircraft, and the Norwegian aircraft having a brake chute.
The contract includes a total of 478 F-35 fighter aircraft for production Lots 12, 13 and 14. Of these, 18 are for Norway. The value of the contract is about $ 34 billion. Through the processing of Prop. 1 S (2015-2016) and Prop. 1 S (2016-2017), Norway was authorized to order the production series 12-14 as a single order in order to reduce the unit price for the aircraft.
“I am very pleased that, in negotiations with our partner countries, we have managed to achieve the goal of further cutting unit costs on fighter aircraft. This shows the benefit of being part of a great partnership,” says Bakke-Jensen.
Evolution of prices over time
The first aircraft delivered to Norway in 2015 had a unit price of $114.1 million and the planes that landed in Ørland in September this year had a unit price of $90.2 million. The Norwegian unit prices for the next three production lots amount to an average of $81.6 million. The price includes aircraft and engine.
In November 2017, the first three F-35 fighters landed on Norwegian soil. In total, Norway has now received 22 F-35. Of these, 15 are operating from Orland, while seven are stationed at Luke Air Force Base in the United States for educational purposes.
Defense is expected to achieve its first operational capability with the F-35 by the end of 2019. By 2022, the F-35 will take over NATO's Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) mission from the F-16, where fighter aircraft will be on continuous standby from Evenes. By 2025, the F-35 will be fully operational.