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.

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.”