Norwegian Maintenance Agency To Go Private
By GERARD O'DWYER
Published: 27 Oct 2011 12:00
HELSINKI - Norway's Ministry of Defense has approved a plan to transform the Luftforsvarets Hovedverksted Kjeller (LHK) - which provides aircraft and weapons maintenance and assembly services, and operates under the MoD's direction - into a fully fledged commercial company.
The LHK forms part of the Norwegian Defense Logistics Organization, which provides engineering, procurement, investment and material support to the Norwegian Armed Forces.
The change to an independent corporate management structure for the LHK comes as the MoD works to reinforce the LHK's ability to conduct maintenance and modifications on a wider array of aircraft and weapon systems, including Norway's first batch of F-35 fighter jets.
The LHK is currently responsible for maintenance on the Norwegian Air Force's fleets, including F-16 fighters and Sea King helicopters, which are due to be phased out starting in 2020. The LHK also maintains and modifies the military's weapons, communications and radar systems.
The corporate change will come with reinvestment in LHK.
The primary focus of the planned capital investment will be to give the new company the skills to handle future work on F-35s and NH90 utility helicopters.
"By converting LHK into a state-owned enterprise, we are laying the groundwork for the operation to compete for future maintenance projects, particularly in relation to the F-35 and NH90 helicopters," Defense Minister Grete Faremo said.
The new LHK also will develop a higher level of specialization in the areas of advanced aircraft materials; aerospace command, control and communication systems; electronic and electro-optic equipment; radars; mechanical machining and manufacturing; simulation and training systems; test equipment and facilities; and weapon systems, accessories and munitions.