"That recommendation is about to four to five weeks out and this is a major issue in Norwegian media and a major issue in the Norwegian public."
Norway's defence secretary Roger Ingebrigtsen and an entourage of military officials visited the F-35 test force at Edwards AFB, California, during the last week of February. The visit to the desert base comes at a time when Norway is trying to finalise how many aircraft it will ultimately buy. "Right now we're in the process where the Norwegian government is about to make a recommendation to their parliament as far as how many F-35s we want to buy and where we should base these aircraft," says Major Eystein Kvarving, a spokesman for the Norwegian Defence Ministry on 29 February in press release issued by the US Air Force.
The northern European nation has already ordered four aircraft, but might buy as many as 48 of the stealthy fifth-generation jets.
Norway is a proponent of NATO's smart defence initiative and has championed pooling together the limited resources available to the European F-35 partners for training and sustainment.
In January, Espen Barth Eide, Norway's Defense Minister, had said during a visit to Washington that discussions for pooling such resources were already underway.