OSLO, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Norway’s parliament authorised the government to purchase another six Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets for about 4 billion crowns ($654.7 million), the parliament’s foreign affairs and defence committee said on Wednesday.
The six jets, to be delivered in 2018, bring the Norwegian order to 16 planes, a small boost for a programme suffering from repeated delays and a 70 percent increase in costs over initial estimates.
Norway plans to buy a total of 52 F-35s by the end of 2024, but purchases for each year have to be separately approved by parliament.
The government expects the total lifetime cost of its F-35 programme at 248 billion crowns, it said earlier.
Lockheed is developing three models of the new radar-evading warplane for the U.S. military and eight countries that helped fund its development: Britain, Canada, Turkey, Italy, Norway, Australia, Denmark and the Netherlands.
Israel and Japan have also placed orders for the jet.