The F-35, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, was chosen based on its superior performance in "intelligence and surveillance, counter air, air interdict, and anti-surface warfare," according to a statement from Norway's defense ministry.
The F-35 is a supersonic, multi-role, 5th generation stealth fighter developed and funded by a consortium of nine countries, including Norway. It is designed to excel in both air-to-air and air-to-ground operations and features comprehensive and powerful avionics. Norway plans to acquire 48 F-35s to replace older F-16s currently in service. The first F-35s would be delivered to Norway in 2016.
Norway was conducting a formal competition between the F-35 and the Saab Gripen NG. One other JSF partner nation, Denmark, is also conducting a competition for its next generation fighter and will announce its decision in 2009. All additional JSF partner nations have completed their analyses in favor of the F-35.
Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for 11 nations initially.
Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.