(Adds comment from Norwegian official)
FARNBOROUGH, England, July 16 A potential
collaboration between Australia and Norway could reduce the
costs of integrating Kongsberg Gruppen's Joint Strike
Missile into Lockheed Martin's new F-35 fighter jet, the
Norwegian Air Force said on Wednesday.
"Australia has signalled interest in a collaborative effort
on the integration portion (of the missile's development),"
Lieutenant Colonel Sigurd Fongen told reporters at the
"That would potentially save money, however that remains to
be seen. We have to keep the discussions going with the
Australians," he said.
Costs for Joint Strike Missile (JSM), an air-launched
development of Kongsberg's Naval Strike Missile, currently stand
at $1.38 billion after the Norwegian government announced in May
that they had risen by 37 percent.
Fongen said the Norwegian and Australian delegations had not
met at Farnborough this week but would make a decision in the
next 6-12 months.
Endre Lunde, F-35 spokesman for Norway's defence ministry,
said Australian participation in the programme could lower the
cost of integrating the new missile into the F-35, but Norway
would pay the full cost of developing the missile.
(Reporting by Jack Stubbs; Editing by Mark Potter and Keiron