A new book reveals that high exhange rates for the dollar, a tight defense budget and partner countries that cut in their orders may force Norway to purchase fewer fighter planes than planned.
In the new book “Attack or defense” by Ingeborg Eliassen and Cathrine Sandnes experts argue that Norway may be forced to reduce the purchase of 52 new aircraft of the F-35, writes the local newspaper Klassekampen.
Norway will towards 2025 acquire up to 52 fighters with weapons and equipment to a value of 67.9 billion kroner in 2015 value. The first aircraft will come to Norway in 2017, according to the Ministry of Defence`s website.
State Secretary Morten Bo in the Ministry of Defence is open to the possibility that the final figure may be lower than 52 aircraft. In an email to Klassekampen, he writes that the military is experiencing a “new economic reality.”
“In working with new long-term, it is natural that we look at the whole defense, but Norway’s ambition to buy 52 aircraft is still our stated goal,” he writes.
Among those who predict that the Parliament is going to reduce the number of aircraft is research director at the Norwegian Nobel Institute, Asle Toje. He sat in the government-appointed expert group in 2015 who proposed a major increase in the defense budget.
“The planes are not only expensive to buy. They are expensive to fly. The question is whether such an expensive capacity makes sense in a defense of Norway in terms of what it delivers, “he writes in Eliassen and Sandnes`s book.