Lockheed Martin and the Norwegian Ministry of Defense celebrated the beginnings of the first F-35A Lightning II for Norway this month. The aircraft, designated as AM-1, has officially begun the mate process, where major components of the aircraft are joined together to form the aircraft’s structure. AM-1 will then make its way down the assembly line and roll out of the factory for delivery to Norway in the fall of 2015.
“We are pleased and excited to see our first aircraft taking shape as planned,” said Mr. Øystein Bø, State Secretary with the Norwegian Ministry of Defense. “Together with the Norwegian-developed Joint Strike Missile the F-35 will be one of the core capabilities of our future defense structure, representing a significant increase in our combat capabilities.”
The global supply chain for the F-35 currently has seven Norwegian companies under contract building parts for the F-35. Norwegian industry is expected to gain up to $4.7 billion USD in industry opportunities over the life of the F-35 program. Every F-35 built will have Norwegian parts and components.
Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin F-35 Program Manager, highlighted the ongoing partnership between Lockheed Martin and Norway. “A new era in Norwegian tactical aviation began with AM-1 mating on the line,” Martin said. “Lockheed Martin is proud of our decade’s long relationship with the Norway MOD and its industry. Transitioning from the F-16 to the F-35 will only enhance this relationship for the future.”
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, advanced mission systems, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and cutting-edge sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least 11 other countries.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 112,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2014 were $45.6 billion.
Pictured Above: The center wing body of Norway’s first F-35A Lightning II jet is lifted into place in an Electronic Mate and Assembly Station (EMAS) on the F-35 production line at AF-4 Plant 4 in Fort Worth, Texas. Known as AM-1, the jet is the first F-35A that will join the Norwegian Air Force. AM-1 will make its official rollout this fall and eventually be stationed at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., to support F-35 pilot training activities there. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)