By Anna Molin
The Norwegian government Friday said it had ordered two U.S. F-35 combat strike fighters for the Norwegian armed forces, marking the launch of the Nordic country's largest ever public purchase.
Norwegian Defence Minister Espen Barth Eide said the decision to move forward came after U.S. authorities confirmed their support to integrate a joint strike missile developed by the Norwegian conglomerate Kongsberg Gruppen ASA (KOG.OS) into the F-35 aircraft.
"This marks a key milestone in the Norwegian F-35 program and the beginning of the largest public procurement in Norwegian history," Barth Eide said in a statement.
The government Friday ordered the first two aircraft as part of a planned bigger order and said it expected delivery of the first two planes in 2015.
The government has said the total F-35 program is expected to cost 60 billion Norwegian kroner ($10.04 billion) in today's currency and that the sales potential for the joint strike missile is estimated at between NOK20 billion and NOK25 billion ($3.35 billion-$4.19 billion).
-Write to Anna Molin at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 15, 2012 06:14 ET (10:14 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.