Lockheed Martin’s F-35s for could cause problems for Norway as it is not adapted to Arctic weather.
Reports suggest the jet has no communications software can cope with Norway’s meteorological conditions.
Apparently, the plane’s radios do not work properly north of the Arctic Circle because of the Earth’s curvature, meaning pilots will be dependant on using other communications methods.
Although the most likely way would be to use satellites, it seems the F-35s are not adapted to this either, according to Aftenposten.
Norway has already ordered four of these for training purposes, with expected delivery by 2016 and purchases of up to 54 more.
Nevertheless, there are concerns over spiralling costs and for lucrative industrial contracts.
Head of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence for the Conservative Party (H), Ine Erikson Søreide wants a solution found for the communication problem and has informed Minister of Defence Grete Faremo.
“The High North is one of our key operational areas. It’s extremely important to have full communication,” said Ms Søreide
Labour’s (Ap) Deputy Minister of Defence Roger Ingebrigtsen replies in a press release that, “this is obviously not correct. The F-35 has the same communications capabilities as today’s F-16s.”
“Norway continually assessesthe F-35’s technology planned for F-35 integrations. We are also consideringalternative options to secure communications over longer distances. This canbe varying forms of satellite-based communications, or indeed other types. It is still too early to sayanything about the final solution. Initially, it will on the same levelas today’s, and improved gradually.”
Politicians’ decision to purchase the aircraft could have infringed Norwegian legislation and there were allegations US pressure was involved.
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