Norway has awarded a NOK1.1bn ($177m) contract to Kongsberg to complete the development of the joint strike missile (JSM) and prepare it for integration on the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter.

The current contract, along with the bridge phase deal signed in November 2013, brings the total cost of the JSM development phase III to around NOK1.5bn ($242m).

The NOK480m ($78.2m) bridge phase contract was awarded to Kongsberg to lead to the phase III development.

Phases I and II of the programme involved preliminary and detailed designs, and integration check of the missile on the F-35, F-16 and the F-18 fighter jets.

Under phase III, Kongsberg will ready the missile for serial production and test it in practical exercises.

Kongsberg CEO Walter Qvam said: "This contract is an important milestone not only for the JSM as a product and for Kongsberg, but also for Norway’s technology industry which, through this development project, will establish a unique, globally leading industrial knowledge base."

"Under phase III, Kongsberg will ready the missile for serial production and test it in practical exercises."

Jointly developed by Kongsberg and the Norwegian Ministry of Defence, the JSM is a long-range anti-surface missile designed to integrate within the F-35’s internal weapons bay. It is intended to be used for engaging land and naval objects protected by advanced defence systems.

The JSM is equipped with an advanced engagement planning system, a navigation system and an automated target recognition with imaging target seeker.

The missile’s ability to be integrated into other aircraft types extends its market potential beyond the F-35.

Kongsberg Defence Systems president Harald Annestad said the JSM programme will create more than 450 jobs at the company and provide sub-contracts to around 100 Norwegian contractors.

"The JSM has a substantial international market potential of NOK25bn over the next 20-30 years," Annestad said.

The programme is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

Image: The JSM will be integrated on the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Kongsberg

Defence Technology