Norway could procure Eurofighter for its air force through the NATO Eurofighter management agency (Netma), it emerged this week.
Some 40,000 UK jobs depend on the Eurofighter programme which involves British Aerospace, Dasa of Germany, Italy’s Alenia and Spain’s Casa.
Eurofighter is shortlisted alongside a new version of the F-16 as a replacement for Norway’s fleet of F-5 fighters. Norway needs 30 40 aircraft for the air defence role to supplement its 60 F-16 fighter-bombers. These F-16s might later be replaced by whichever aircraft is picked for the air defence role.
Jack Gordon, Netma general manager, has discussed Eurofighter’s status with major general Ivar Gjetnes, chief of the Norwegian air force’s air material command.
Eurofighter is about to reach its production phase, once final German parliamentary approval is given later this year. Germany’s chancellor Kohl has already given his approval.
It is expected that Norway will seek approval from its parliament for an F-5 replacement next spring and a formal request for proposals later in 1998.
Germany’s Dasa is leading the Eurofighter marketing effort in Norway, reinforcing the company’s drive to change minds in Germany’s parliament about Eurofighter’s importance and export potential.