The government wants to lock the decision to purchase 52 units of the F-35 aircraft, according to information possessed by the the newspaper Klassekampen. At the same time, the reason why Norway needs 52 fighters is kept secret.
In her long-term plan for the Armed Forces Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide will probably suggest that Norway should be locked to buy 52 US fighters, the newspaper writes. Last year the Defense Ministry concluded that Norway needs “at least 52” aircrafts, but the reason why this number of aircrafts is needed is kept secret from the public.
Only representatives of the foreign and defense committee in parliament may get access to the estimations if they ask for them. That means that most members of parliament will be without access to some of the most important documents in the case when Stortinget is to make its decision on the investment.
In 2012 Stortinget decided that Norway was to to buy “up to 52” new combat aircrafts in the category F-35. The draft Armed Forces Long-Term had Søreide dropped the word “up to” according to Dagens Næringsliv, and was criticised for this by the Ministry of Finance.
The price tag for the 52 aircraft is estimated to be at 70 billion just for the acquisition. So far, Stortinget has approved the purchase of 28 fighter aircrafts.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today