Norwegian Lightning

Le Bourget, France —Norway’s parliament authorized the purchase of four F-35s to be used as trainers, Norwegian Adm. Arne Roksand, head of the country’s defense policy, announced here Tuesday at the Paris Air Show. He said the order, which the parliament approved on June 16, marks the first money for production of F-35s for Norway. The four aircraft will be combat-capable, but will be based in the United States at Eglin AFB, Fla., for the training of Norwegian pilots. Norway expects to buy as many as 56 F-35s altogether, including the four trainers. Those four will be bought from Lot 8: paid for in 2014 and delivered in 2016. At the same briefing, Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin’s general manager of F-35 program integration, said there are now 63 F-35s “under full contract” and 98 in some form of manufacture, including long-lead work for Lot 5, which is still in negotiation. (See also Lockheed release on Norwegian decision.)