The Norwegian government's decision to pick the American fighter craft F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to replace the F-16 put an extra dimension to the grand opening of KONGSBERG's new facility for the manufacturing of advanced composite aerostructures in Kongsberg.
The Minister of Defence Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Trade and Industry Øyvind Slåke and Mayor of Kongsberg Vidar Lande performed the ribboncutting in front of about 100 guests. The new facility will be used to manufacture advanced composite aerostructures for the Joint Strike Fighter.
"This is a big day for us. The decision to buy the American fighter craft Joint Strike Fighter is positive for the success of this facility, for us as a company, for the region, for many of our Norwegian subcontractors and for the further development of Norwegian technology competence," said KONGSBERG's CEO Walter Qvam.
The Norwegian Minister of Defence, Strøm-Erichsen congratulated KONGSBERG with the grand opening of the facility and also took the opportunity to congratulate Lockheed Martin as the chosen supplier of the new Norwegian fighter craft. "Norway depends on a competent and competitive defence industry. The opening of this facility confirms that the government is serious about strengthening the cooperation with the industry. We believe that KONGSBERG has the right environment when it comes to building up national composite competence," said Strøm-Erichsen.
"This is a good example of how the cooperation between the industry and authorities should work", said Deputy Minister Øyvind Slåke. "The build up of competence within advanced composite materials will create opportunities across Norway."
Left to right: Deputy Minister Øyvind Slåke, Minister of Defence Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen and Mayor of Kongsberg Vidar Lande performed the ribboncutting. CEO of KONGSBERG Walter Qvam in the background.
Facts about Kongsberg Aerostructures:
- The facility is approximately 30 000 square meters
- KONGSBERG has invested about MNOK 900 in the facility
- The main activity will be manufacturing of parts in composite and titanium
- Approximately 180 people will be employed at the facility. It is expected that this number will increase to about 210 during 2009.
Read the press release from the Office of the Prime Minister