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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 318-02
June 20, 2002

DOD AND NORWAY SIGN JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER AGREEMENT

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge Jr. and his Norwegian counterpart National Armaments Director Leif Lindback today signed memorandum of understanding documents committing Norway to participation in the Joint Strike Fighter system development and demonstration (SDD) phase.

Norway joins in a multilateral participation arrangement that will allow Norway to work with the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark and other prospective JSF partner nations over the next 10 years.

"Our partnership with Norway in this key program will not only meet our mutual national security needs in the coming years," said Aldridge, "it will also enhance NATO interoperability, promote defense transformation, positively impact program affordability, and strengthen industry linkages. This is a great day for both our countries."

"This is a strategic decision for both the Norwegian Ministry of Defence and Norwegian industry," added Lindback. "This project will enhance interoperability with U.S. and allied forces, and will provide opportunities for Norwegian industry to participate in this cutting-edge aerospace project. It is now paramount to secure our continued commitment that Norwegian industry in the coming months become participants in the development work that is already under way," underlined Mr. Lindback.

The Joint Strike Fighter, as the largest ever DoD acquisition program, is also setting new standards in development of manufacturing technologies, acquisition and business practices, and export licensing. Both countries recognize the importance of sharing experiences in all these areas.

As a result of Norway's involvement, U.S. industry has also sought teaming arrangements in Norway with strong opportunities for involvement not just in this phase, but also in the follow-on production. The Joint Strike Fighter program has focused on "best value" partners - ever mindful of the cost of the program -- and has avoided the often-costly defined work-share arrangements of other such programs. Norwegian industry will be a welcome addition to the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Danish, and Dutch Joint Strike Fighter industry team.

With today's signing Norway becomes the fifth nation to join the United States in a broad-based international partnership to develop this 21st century aircraft.

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