Norway signed an arms sale deal worth 5 billion Norwegian kroner ($500 million) with the US for the supply of missiles to be mounted on F-35 fighter jets.
“This is a very important agreement both for Norway’s defensive capabilities and US-Norwegian defense cooperation,” Defense Minister Bjorn Arild Gram said on Monday in a statement.
Oslo said the AMRAAM-D missiles would serve as the main weapon used to defend Norwegian airspace for the next several decades and represents the single-largest procurement ever of weapons for the Norwegian Armed Forces.
“We are very pleased that Norway now also will have access to such advanced missiles, and that we are carrying out such a major acquisition of medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM) that will unleash the potential of the F-35,” Gram said, adding that this would in turn strengthen the country’s “future defensive capabilities.”
He emphasized that this was especially important in light of the current security situation.
According to the Defense Ministry, AMRAAM-D is an upgraded version of the missile that has previously been used both by the F-16 fighter jets and the NASAMS air defense system.
The F-35 is equipped with sensors that enable it to locate and identify a wider range of threats over much greater distances than previous aircraft.
“Through this agreement Norwegian F-35s will also gain access to a weapon that itself has major improvements in terms of sensors and range, and which will be effective against everything from drones and cruise missiles to other combat aircraft,” said Gro Jaere, director general of the Norwegian Defense Material Agency (NDMA).
According to the ministry, the missiles will be delivered by 2028 as part of the larger Joint Strike Fighter program.