Friday, October 17, 2008
The Norwegian Defence and Security Industries Association (FSi), trade union Landsorganisasjonen (LO) and Norwegian Society of Engineers (NITO), with a total one million members, recommended in the report the authorities to invest in 48 new JAS 39 Gripen jets instead of in US F-35 Lightning II, know as Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), made by Lockheed Martin Corp. Gripen is manufactured by Swedish defence and aerospace group Saab AB. Gripen is the best alternative from the industrial perspective, FSi administrative director Torbjorn Svensgard told Norwegian daily Dagsavisen today. Gripen has already identified much more projects in Norway, to take part in, compared with JSF, and these projects are spread across the whole country. A JSF choice will have negative consequences for the expansion and further development of the Norwegian defence industry, according to the report. If Norway chooses Gripen, this will enable large production, as well as research and development, and more work places, FSi said. Although the report is important, the LO union has not taken a final position in the discussion yet, LO's leader Roar Flathen said. Norway's government is due to make a decision about the fighters before Christmas.