The UK and Norwegian representatives have signed the F-35 Lightning II aircraft joint concept document during a meeting at the latter’s defence ministry headquarters in Oslo, Norway.
Based on the contents of the joint statement issued in September 2013, the concept document describes in greater detail how the two countries will further develop cooperation on training and on operation of the F-35 fighter in Europe.
Norwegian Fighter Aircraft programme programme director Anders Melheim said the entire F-35 procurement is based on collaboration between partners, and the principle that more countries need to work together to find new and better solutions to operate the future fighter aircraft.
"The partnership we now have established with Britain is a natural extension of this, and of the work already done within the multinational F-35 program," Melheim said.
Norway and the UK have gradually developed closer cooperation on F-35 sensing great similarity between their procurement plans and ambitions, and due to the fact that they have not operated a similar fighter since the late 1950s.
One particularly exciting domain is the opportunities for joint training of pilots and technicians for the F-35 aircraft.
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Melheim said the country is planning to train its pilots in the US, similar to the F-16, and the plan will remain unchanged until further notice.
"But there is a lot of pressure on training sites in the United States and so, when for the first time in a long time we have the opportunity to establish closer cooperation with the British in this area, it is definitely interesting," Melheim added.
However, neither of the two countries have financially or operationally committed to the project.
With plans to procure up to 52 F-35 combat aircraft at a cost $62.6bn, Norway has secured approval from the Parliament to order the first six aircraft in June 2013, for delivery by 2017.
Image: An F-35 joint strike fighter prepares to take-off. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin.