This is a very important agreement both for Norway’s defensive capabilities and US-Norwegian defence cooperation, says Norwegian Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram.
The AMRAAM-D will 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 that will unleash the potential of the F-35, which in turn will strengthen our future defensive capabilities. This is especially important in light of today’s security situation, Gram said.
Improved capability against all types of airborne threats
AMRAAM-D is an upgraded version of a missile that has previously been used by both the F-16 and the air defence system NASAMS. Featuring more powerful propulsion, improved guidance systems and a data link, the missile will give Norwegian combat aircraft a better ability to combat the full width of modern air threats.
– 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, says Gro Jære, Director General of the NDMA.
Delivery of the missiles will continue through 2028. The cost of the procurement is part of the overall cost estimates for the Norwegian F-35 program, where large parts of the remaining funds are intended for various weapons, including the AMRAAM-D and the Joint Strike Missile.
Significant industrial opportunities
Norway has also signed a parallel industrial cooperation agreement with the missile manufacturer Raytheon, a company that already cooperates closely with Norwegian defence industry.
– It is very important to the Norwegian government that large international defence procurements create opportunities for our domestic industry, and this is no exception. We see several relevant areas of cooperation that together amount to several billion kroner, says Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram.