OSLO, Norway, March 13 (UPI) -- A missile specifically designed for use on F-35 fighters for Norway has for the first time been fitted onto an aircraft, Lockheed Martin said.
The Joint Strike Missile, which is under development by Kongsberg, was attached last month to a fighter destined for Norway at Lockheed's facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
The attachment was part of a "fit check" of the JSM on an external pylon on the F-35 to confirm that the missile is able to be fitted for external carriage. A test to verify it can be fitted within the F-35's internal weapons bay will follow.
"Although we are still far away from any operational use of the JSM this shows that the development of the missile is moving forward," said Norwegian F-35 Program Director Anders Melheim.
The long-range missile is a joint project of Kongsberg and the Norwegian Ministry of Defense.
"We are working hard to ensure that Norwegian F-35s receive the operational capabilities we need, and therefore we believe that JSM is very important. At the same time it provides significant opportunities for Norwegian industry," said Melheim.
Norway plans to acquire 52 of the fighter aircraft.
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