STEP CLOSER: Australia is to collaborate with Norway on the Joint Strike Missile for the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.
STEP CLOSER: Australia is to collaborate with Norway on the Joint Strike Missile for the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter. Matthew Short Lockheed Martin

F-35A contract signed with Norway

AUSTRALIA and Norway have agreed to work together to develop the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) for the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

Norway's F-35 Program Director Maj-Gen Morten Klever and Australian F-35 JSF Program Manager Air Vice Marshal Chris Deeble signed a project agreement while attending the September session of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Executive Steering Board in the US.

Air Vice Marshal Deeble said the agreement would see Australia support the development of technology for the JSM.

"This collaboration demonstrates one of the key benefits of being a partner in the global F-35 program by providing an opportunity to work internationally on a weapons capability that is strategically important to both nations," he said.

Australian industry is also benefiting from the cooperation with BAE Systems Australia, supporting Norway's JSM manufacturer, Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, by developing missile-guidance technology for the JSM.

The F-35A will provide Australia with a fifth-generation aircraft to replace the ageing F/A-18A/B Hornets and enable air superiority into the future.

Australia has committed to 72 F-35A aircraft, to be based at RAAF Bases Williamtown (NSW) and Tindal (NT).

The aircraft will visit RAAF Bases Amberley, Darwin, Pearce, Townsville and Edinburgh for training.