Post sponsored by: https://www.jobtoronto.net
Some Norwegian politicians believe that the uncertainty surrounding the price of US F-35 fighter jets, the new backbone of the country’s air force, is “absurd.”
To resolve an ongoing dispute surrounding the cost of the F-35 once and for all, the Norwegian parliament’s constitutional and control committee has asked Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen to name the price of fighter jets. according to the current exchange rate of the dollar.
“The whole process takes a long time (approximately 5 months) and involves Norwegian and American actors. The resources to carry out the annual uncertainty analyzes are estimated at around 10,000 hours of work “, responded Bakke Jensen, quoted by the newspaper Dagbladet.
According to him, this task requires a core of approximately ten people working throughout the year, while the most labor-intensive analysis requires around 30 people. He promised to provide parliament with an “updated estimate,” but not before the next year’s budget is ready.
When the paper faced excessive costs, Bakke-Jensen said that uncertainty analyzes require a lot of time and effort, and require the cooperation of the Ministry of Defense, the Air Force, the Defense Research Institute, the Logistics Organization of Defense and Agency of defense material.
“I think it is very prudent to do a thorough job to follow the costs, the risks and the budgetary needs. This is a program with a cost framework of little more than NOK 85 billion [$ 10 billion] and with annual payments of more than NOK 7 billion [$ 820 million], “said Bakke-Jensen.
Bakke-Jensen’s response provoked a strong reaction from the Socialist Left Party, which has been one of the most critical critics of the F-35 agreement that prioritized the acquisition of airplanes over other defense plans.
“It is absolutely absurd that the government should spend 10,000 hours of work each year just to calculate how much the flight of the aircraft really costs,” said Torgeir Knag Fylkesnes of the Constitutional and Control Committee. “It illustrates how little control they have over costs,” he added.
The Reds, who have also criticized the F-35 from the first moment, argued that the purchase of the aircraft should be reviewed by the Auditor General.
“The warning lights have been blinking for this scandalous purchase since the center-left government, with the support of the conservatives, entered through the ridiculous F-35, which is much more suited to a war of attacks led by the United States. that for the defense of Norway “, said the leader of the Reds Bjørnar Moxnes.
The debate over the cost of the fighter aircraft flourished again after the Bergens Tidende newspaper conducted a critical investigation, highlighting a price gap of NOK 16 million ($ 1.9 million). The leader of the socialist left, Audun Lysbakken, demanded a parliamentary hearing with the Minister of Defense to obtain some answers. Parts of the Bergens Tidende calculation have been disputed by the Ministry of Defense.
As part of a comprehensive defense review, the Norwegian Air Force will become one of the main European users of the F-35 with a total of 52 aircraft. So far, Norway has received nine F-35 fighter jets, with an average price of NOK 1.375 million (approximately $ 160 million) each.