Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, the manufacturer of F-35, announced that it received support from the Norwegian government, reaffirming its commitment to continue buying the stealthy F-35 joint strike fighter.

Norway’s defense department, which has planned to buy 52 planes, told its parliament in a 2017 budget proposal that it plans to purchase 12 planes in the 2019 and 2020 “block buys.” 

The plan makes Norway as the first international partner to make such a multiyear purchase.

Ken Ross, spokesman for Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, said: “They continue to stay strong in the program and it shows the confidence they have in the F-35.”

By committing to buying the F-35 in a future block, the economy of scale will help drive down the cost to the desired $80 million (€72.61 million) to $85 million (€77.14 million) per plane, from $112 million (€101.65 million) per copy in 2013. F-35 customers plan on procuring about 450 aircraft from 2018 to 2020.

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Senior Japanese and U.S. government officials joined Lockheed Martin to celebrate the roll out of the first Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) F-35A Lightning II, an important step for Japan’s enhanced national defense program.
 

Pentagon also gave a statement that Norway and other international partners on the F-35 program have been involved in the concept of a block buy since its inception.  Joe DellaVedova, Pentagon spokesman for the F-35 program, said: “Due to vast economies of scale, all countries will achieve significant reductions on the price of their jets.”