Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services (KAMS) has signed a contract with Pratt & Whitney to officially open F-35 fighter aircraft engine maintenance facility at Norway.

The site at Rygge will be one of the five maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade (MRO&U) facilities to be developed worldwide to enhance maintenance capabilities of the F135 engine that powers the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.

The contract represents the transition of the KAMS MRO&U facility from activation and training to qualification and operations in order to achieve initial depot capability by the end of next year.

Pratt & Whitney Global Sustainment Services executive director Nancy Bordick said: “As the F-35 fleet expands to new operating bases around the world, Pratt & Whitney is focused on establishing a global MRO&U network that will sustain the F135 engine throughout its lifecycle.

“This contract is an important milestone for establishing F135 MRO&U capabilities in the European region and we look forward to continuing to work with the KAMS team on the qualification of the Norway MRO&U.”

The F135 engine is manufactured by Pratt & Whitney. The system powers all three variants of the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.

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By GlobalData

KAMS president Atle Wøllo said: “For over 40 years, we have maintained the F100 engine for the Royal Norwegian Air Force F-16 fleet. We look forward to continuing the cooperation with Pratt & Whitney on the F135 engine at our new maintenance depot here at Rygge.

“This depot will, over time, provide high-competence jobs for the Moss and Rygge region.”

The Norwegian site will be capable of carrying out multiple repairs, overhauls and providing logistical services, including handling spare parts.

KAMS will recruit and train mechanics, technicians and logistics personnel to handle more complex repairs and increase scope of works.

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace owns 50.1% of the shares in KAMS, while the remaining is with Patria of Finland.