The Norwegian company Kitron AS has signed an agreement with Northrop Grumman on the production of electronics modules for F-35 fighter aircraft. The modules are part of the aircraft’s highly advanced communications, navigation and identification avionics. The agreement has a value of more than NOK 170 million, and has deliveries in 2021.
“This is very gratifying and shows that the Norwegian defense industry is competitive in an international market,” says Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen.
Kitron AS is already a significant supplier to the F-35 program, and in November 2016 entered into a long-term framework agreement with Northrop Grumman Corporation with a potential value of approximately NOK 1 billion. Production of parts for the F-35 will take place at Kitron’s premises just outside Arendal. Kitron AS had sales of NOK 851 million in 2019 and has just over 300 employees. The contract that is now signed is proof that Kitron AS has delivered in accordance with the expectations in the framework agreement and that they compete well for new deliveries to the F-35.
Based on the Storting’s (Norwegian Parliament) ambitions, Norway plans to acquire up to 52 F-35 combat aircraft for national defence purposes. The number is verified by analyses carried out by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment and the Ministry of Defence, and confirmed by the latest threat assessments and the Armed Forces’ Long-term Plan. Since then, the Norwegian Air Force has been carrying out operational testing and evaluation of the F-35 in Norwegian conditions, aiming for Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 2019. According to the plan, Norway will receive six new F-35s every year until 2024.