Norway has one of the world's five workshops for the maintenance of the engines of the F-35 fighter aircraft. “This is the starting point for Norwegian maintenance of the F-35 and an important milestone in the F-35 cooperation,” says Minister of Defense Frank Bakke-Jensen.
The government has for a long time arranged for Norwegian companies to be in a position to get the contract for engine maintenance. In 2014, Norway, through AIM Norway AS, was designated by the US Department of Defense to establish one of three regional depots in Europe.
The Ministry of Defense entered into an agreement to sell the shares in AIM Norway AS to Kongsberg, and Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Systems (KAMS) was formally established in 2019.
KAMS has now entered into the first of several contracts with Pratt & Whitney for the establishment of the Norwegian workshop at Rygge. The contract is in line with the ambitions for Norwegian industrial participation within the F-35 cooperation.
The Norwegian depot is one of five in the world, and will thus play a crucial role in supporting operational capacity for the entire global F-35 fleet. The support includes both spare parts stock, repairs and maintenance.
The engines of the F-35 fighter jets will be maintained at Rygge. The depot at Rygge can be scaled up as needed, and in the long run increased activity can lead to the engine depot providing more jobs and higher value creation in the region.
It is expected that the depot will be able to carry out repairs on the first engine modules during 2021.