Two more European nations joined the United States and
United Kingdom effort to design and build the next generation
strike fighter aircraft.
In a ceremony April 16 at Soesterberg
Air Base, The Netherlands, defense officials from Norway, the
Netherlands and the United States signed a Joint Strike Fighter
Requirements Validation Memorandum of Agreement.
A third member,
Denmark, has not yet completed its decision process but the
option will be open for Denmark to sign the MOA later this
Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology
Paul G. Kaminski signed the agreement on behalf of the United
This Joint Strike Fighter MOA will build on the success
of our F-16 program.
JSF promotes international collaboration in
research, development, acquisition and equipment of our forces.
At the same time, it works toward our goals in NATO of
standardization, rationalization, and interoperability of our
equipment while making use of our limited budgets to achieve our
economies of scale, he said at the signing.
The European nations will participate as associate partners
in the requirements validation project during the concept
demonstration phase of the JSF program.
Under this project, the
nations will evaluate the fighter's capabilities in meeting their
forces' future mission requirements.
With participation of Denmark, the three countries are
expected to contribute a total $32.2 million for the concept
In December 1995, the United Kingdom signed a memorandum of
understanding as a collaborative partner in developing the
aircraft with the United States and is contributing $200 million
toward the program.
The Royal Navy plans to replace the aging
STOL Sea Harrier with a short take-off and vertical landing
version of the JSF.
The Joint Strike Fighter is expected to become operational
by 2008 and will be the next generation strike fighter for the
Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and allied forces.
Lockheed-Martin are scheduled to conduct their design fly-offs in
The program employs integrated teams of warfighters and
technologists to achieve an affordable balance of cost and
The JSF program is managed by Rear Adm. Craig E. Steidle.
Additional information on the Joint Strike Fighter program can be
obtained electronically at http://www.jast.mil.