Kongsberg is investing about NOK 500 million in the new depot, which will be part of the global maintenance solution and contribute to strengthened national capabilities and increased operational availability of the Norwegian F-35 fleet, when the depot is completed in the second half of 2025.
Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services (KAMS) will be responsible for the construction and operation of the depot, which will carry out future maintenance, upgrades, modifications and improvements of the F-35 throughout the lifetime of the aircraft.
User maintenance of the F-35 will continue to be carried out by the Air Force at the main base in Ørland, while heavy maintenance work will be carried out at the regional depot in Cameri, Italy, in accordance with Norwegian obligations in the multinational F-35 programme.
“Establishing a maintenance depot in Norway helps to retain and develop expertise and capacity to carry out maintenance and upgrades of Norwegian fighter aircraft, in accordance with the needs and priorities of the Norwegian Armed Forces,” says Eirik Lie, President of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.
“In addition to safeguarding know-how that has been built up over several decades, the agreement strengthens our position as a supplier of maintenance services in the defence sector, in line with our strategy. From the new depot, we will also be able to conduct maintenance services on other nations’ F-35s,” says Lie.
Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services’ engine depot for maintenance and upgrading of F-135 engines to the F-35 has been in operation in Rygge since 2020. The work is done on behalf of Pratt & Whitney. The Rygge facility also carries out F-135 engine tests after maintenance work has been completed.