KONGSBERG, Norway, July 3 (UPI) -- Norwegian defense company Kongsberg Defense has signed a new contract with the government for continued development of the Joint Strike Missile for use on F-35 aircraft.
The missile for engaging targets at long distances will also be capable of usage by other types of aircraft.
"This contract is an important milestone not only for the JSM as a product and for Kongsberg, but also for Norway's technology industry which, through this development project, will establish a unique, globally leading industrial knowledge base," said Walter Qvam, chief executive officer of Kongsberg.
The contract is for further development is worth about $178 million and follows a bridging contract issued late last year.
The Joint Strike Missile is based on the company's Naval Strike Missile, which uses GPS/inertial navigation and carries a warhead of about 265 pounds for anti-ship and land attack missions. Introduced in 2012, is in service with Norway and Poland.
"In future full-scale production, the JSM program could translate into more than 450 jobs at Kongsberg, in addition to generating a significant number of assignments for about 100 Norwegian subcontractors for several decades," said Harald Annestad, president of Kongsberg Defense Systems. "The JSM has a substantial international market potential of NOK 25 billion (about $4 billion) over the next 20-30 years."