Noise levels from JSF found to be four times as high as F-16s in use today.
The Norwegian Air Force (NAF) has ordered 48 F-35 Lightning IIs (formerly known as the JSF). But new data shows it may be too noisy for residents living near the air force’s proposed fighter jet base in Bodø.
Money to burn?
According to a report from Lockheed Martin, the F-35’s manufacturer, the high noise-levels occur at takeoff at full thrust with afterburners. At present, Bodø’s civil and military runways are located very near the town, with the military base housing the NAF’s 331st and 332nd Squadrons.
To try and alleviate the problem, the council has suggested moving the military part of the airport 700 metres further to the west, which will mean building new runways partially out into the sea. But though this may save the residents’ ears, it could mean that extra costs make the air force’s budget take a nosedive.
A preliminary joint report from 2007 by the research agency SINTEF, the Norwegian Defence Estate Agency (Forsvarsbygg), and the American Air Force shows that expenses associated with the move will cost the NAF between 6 and 10 billion kroner, according to Aftenposten.
And airport experts who support basing the fighter jets at an existing military facility at Ørland near Trondheim, believe that compulsory re-housing and sound insulation of the other, existing houses in Bodø will cost a further 6 ½ billion.
ashfay/Wikimedia CommonsBut the residents of Bodø can rest easy in their beds, as the jets are still a speck on the delivery horizon.
And there are still other possibilities. The same joint report from 2007 has concluded that if the fighter jets were stationed at Harstad/Narvik airport in the municipality of Evenes, noise-reduction measures would only cost approximately half a billion kroner.
Further noise-abatement solutions have also been suggested in a Public Environmental Report issued by the Australian Government’s Department of Defence.
“Measures being considered include minimising the use of afterburner take-off, greater use of simulation for training,...limiting late-night flying, and minimising over-flying of heavily populated areas.”
The Norwegian Ministry of Defence is expected present its report about where to locate its fighter jet bases before Christmas, with Parliament making its final decision in the spring.