On April 12, 2018, the US Department of Defense and the Norwegian Ministry of Defence signed a new agreement on security of supply between the two countries.
According to a story on the Department of Defense website:
Mr. Eric Chewning, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy (DASD-MIBP) and Mr. Morten Tiller, Norway’s National Armaments Director, signed a Security of Supply Arrangement (SoSA) on April 12, 2018.
The intent of this effort is to further industry collaboration efforts between the allied countries.
This is one of the mechanisms that the office of the DASD-MIBP is utilizing to implement U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis’ new national defense strategy that is focused, among his top priorities, on strengthening alliances among allied countries.
The DASD-MIBP recognizes that mutually beneficial alliances and partnerships are crucial to achieving our national security objectives.
SoSAs are arrangements that incentivize and encourage allied countries to procure/acquire defense articles/services from U.S. suppliers, enhance mutual interoperability, and enshrine confidence that DoD can rely on allied partners to securely deliver needed items as needed.
The featured photo shows Mr. Eric Chewning, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy (DASD-MIBP) and Mr. Morten Tiller, Norway’s National Armaments Director, signeing a Security of Supply Arrangement (SoSA) on April 12, 2018.
And a Defense News story written by Jen Judson and published by Defense News on April 17, 2018 provided additional details.
A SOSA allows “the DoD to request priority delivery for DoD contracts, subcontracts, or orders from companies in these countries. Similarly, the arrangements allow the signatory nations to request priority delivery for their contracts and orders with U.S. firms,” according to a Pentagon definition.
The U.S. has entered into similar arrangements with eight other countries: Australia, Canada, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. And the U.S. has established subsequent codes of conduct with industry in Finland, Italy, Sweden and the U.K.
“For decades the Norwegian industry has delivered critical defense equipment to the U.S. armed forces. This indicates that the U.S. authorities have considered Norwegian companies to be trustworthy suppliers for many years already,” Tiller said just prior to signing the document. “Norwegian companies have also cooperated with U.S. companies for many, many years and I would say with great success.”
A prime example of such partnership, Tiller noted, is the 50-year cooperation between Norway’s Kongsberg and Raytheon.
Tiller said that once the agreement is signed, the next step will be to enter a code of conduct arrangement with Norway’s defense and security industrial association where participating Norwegian companies “will commit to, as it is stated, make every reasonable effort, to provide priority support to U.S. authorities and prime contractors that need to invoke security of supply arrangement in future contracts.”
He added that he expected many Norwegian companies will sign up to the code of conduct and particularly the companies present at the signing, such as Kongsberg and Nammo, would do so “before the summer break.”
The agreement comes at a time where the U.S. is turning more toward strengthening alliances — a top priority laid out in the new National Defense Strategy.
A partnership between a US and Norwegian team can lead to third market opportunities as well, as being seen in the case of the Raytheon-Kongsberg NASAMS program.
An October 4, 2017 press release from Kongsberg announced an Australian purchase of the NASSAM by Australia.
Raytheon Australia has been identified as the Prime System Integrator and KONGSBERG will be a major sub-contractor in the program. NASAMS is a proven and fielded mobile air defence system in service with seven nations today, including Norway and the United States.
“We are pleased to see that NASAMS is recognized as the preferred ground based air defence capability solution for the Australian Army and we are looking forward to the process leading to a contract”, says Eirik Lie, President of Kongsberg Defence Systems.
The inherent flexibility and modularity of NASAMS makes it a world leading solution with unique capabilities to combat modern airborne threats, as well as having the ability to integrate with networks and a variety of different sensors and weapons.
“NASAMS is one of the most successful KONGSBERG products internationally and we are proud to be part of the Raytheon Australia team for delivery of this capability to the Australian Army”, Lie said.
And by participating in the F-35 global enterprise, Kongsberg is developing a very flexible joint strike missile which will be launched by the F-35 initially, but can operate off of ships and land as well.
And by being part of the F-35 program, the JSMs Kongsberg builds for the Norwegian planes are integrable from the ground up with other F-35 partners, two of which have shown advanced interest, namely Australia and Japan.
In a February 26, 2015 press release from the Norwegian Ministry of Defence, the partnership was announced between Australia and Kongsberg.
The Norwegian Ministry of Defence and the Australian Department of Defence have agreed to cooperate on the development of the Joint Strike Missile (JSM), following talks between Norwegian State Secretary Mr. Øystein Bø and his Australian colleague Mr. Stuart Robert during the Norwegian State visit to Australia this week. The agreement seeks to support the introduction of an advanced maritime strike weapon on the F-35 in the early 2020’s time frame.
Although far apart geographically, Norway and Australia share many of the same challenges. We are both maritime nations on the periphery of our immediate regions, with a large land mass and even larger maritime territories, yet relatively limited populations. This means that we have to maximize the effects of the capabilities that we invest in to ensure that they cover as much of the spectrum of operations as possible, said Norwegian Minister of Defence, Ms. Ine Eriksen Søreide.
Norway and Australia have maintained a close dialogue for several years regarding the JSM within the framework of the multinational F-35-partnership. This agreement takes the process one step further, with Australia agreeing to provide expertise in missile control and guidance systems.
The cooperation between Norway and Australia on the JSM was announced at Avalon Air Show earlier today. From the left, Deputy Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Leo Davies, Norwegian State Secretary of Defence Mr. Øystein Bø, and Executive Vice President of Kongsberg Defence Systems, Mr. Pål Bratlie
– The JSM is already a very capable missile, but with the support of Australia, we hope to make it even better. Though Australia is still a few years away from making any final decisions on its future maritime strike capability, we are encouraged by the interest they have shown for both the missile and for the capabilities of Norwegian industry. We should now continue talks between our two governments, and aim to formalize this agreement in the near future, said Norwegian Minister of Defence, Ms. Ine Eriksen Søreide.
The Joint Strike Missile is an advanced long range precision strike missile, tailor made to fit the internal weapons bay of the F-35. The F-35, combined with the JSM, provide the ability to both locate and defeat heavily defended targets, both on land and at sea, at extended ranges, significantly enhancing the strategic capabilities of the aircraft. The missile utilizes advanced navigation, a passive infrared seeker, low signature and superior manoeuvrability to ensure mission effectiveness, thereby providing user nations with significantly enhanced combat capabilities.
Norway intends to procure up to 52 F-35A aircraft to enhance the ability of its Armed Forces to meet future security challenges, with first delivery planned for late 2015. Norway’s first four aircraft will be based at the F-35 International Pilot Training Centre at Luke Air Force Base Arizona, while the first F-35 will arrive in Norway in 2017. Australia has so far committed to procuring 72 F-35A, out of a planned 100, with the first two aircraft delivered in 2014.