Fremmet norskprodusert teknologi

Statssekretær Øystein Bø holdt 19. mai hovedinnlegget på en norsk-amerikansk forsvarsindustrikonferanse i Washington DC. Tema var «A World in Change: Partner Nations – A Source of Innovation». Hensikten var å belyse den amerikanske «Third Offset Strategy» og hvordan norskprodusert teknologi og forskning og utvikling kan bidra til å realisere denne amerikanske satsingen.

*Sjekkes mot fremføring*

Dear Bob, - flag officers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Dear Friends

It is both an honor and a pleasure once again to attend the NADIC conference, - and to see so many familiar faces in the audience.
I want to thank the NADIC for inviting  and for organizing this event. The annual NADIC conference has become a well-established and important venue, focusing on strengthening security cooperation between the United States and Norway.
I will focus my remarks on the current security environment in Norway and Europe and the future of the Norwegian Armed Forces. Also, I will share with you some of my views on the relevance of Norwegian defense technology with regards to the US Third Offset Strategy.
I am particularly glad that we are joined this morning by Deputy Secretary Robert Work. Bob is a strategic thinker who has a unique understanding of the fundamental global security trends.
He is also one of my dearest colleagues, a true partner and a good friend. Bob – knowing how busy your schedule is, I am truly honored by your presence here today.

The current security environment Venues, such as the NADIC, are important to enable our defense industries to work even better together to achieve a common aim. In the end, it is all about equipping our soldiers in the best possible way, in order for them to uphold and maintain peace and security of our nations, our allies and our friends. That task is becoming increasingly more challenging. I´d like to start out by saying a few words about the current security environment as it relates to Norway, the USA and the transatlantic community. I will focus on two particular areas. First- the threat emanating from The Greater Middle East. This area, which includes the northern parts of Africa, is torn by war and conflict. ISIL is threatening to throw a whole region into chaos. We are constantly reminded of ISIL´s extreme and violent ideology, and their reach. This has been illustrated by gruesome attacks on civilian populations in Syria and Iraq, as well as several horrendous attacks on European soil. The threat from ISIL must be met in a coordinated way. The transatlantic community must stand together. Based, among other things, on a request from the US government, Norway decided a few weeks back to increase our military contribution to the fight against ISIL.  In addition to the 120 troops we already have in Iraq, we will be deploying around 60 additional troops, mostly special operations forces, to train local Syrian groups fighting ISIL. I am proud of our special operations forces. They are extremely capable, and I am confident that they will make a valuable contribution. The unit will be based in Jordan, but has a mandate to operate on Syrian soil should this be required by the operational concept.  When confronting ISIL and other terrorist groups we need to adopt a broad approach. The ISIL challenge is not restricted to Syria and Iraq. It spans Northern Africa, from the East to the West, through the Middle East and up to Afghanistan. Norway has troop contributions in Mali, in Jordan/Syria, in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places. We see our presence in these different locations a part of the broader effort against terrorism and extremism. In this effort we stand and fight shoulder to shoulder with our American allies. The second important security development I want to mention, is the fundamental shifts occurring in the security landscape in and surrounding Europe. Russia has become a less predictable actor on the world stage. The illegal annexation of Crimea and continuing destabilization in Eastern Ukraine are the clearest examples. However, we see unpredictable behavior in other parts of Europe as well. Unprofessional military maneuvers, violation of airspace, and snap exercises occurring without advance notification are, relevant examples. We are faced with at Russia that is more assertive and less predictable. At the same time there has been a significant modernization of Russian military capabilities  Russia is developing new military capabilities, including new submarines and aircraft, and long-range high-precision missiles that can target all of Europe, as well as transatlantic Sea Lines of Communication New submarines have become operational. They form the backbone of a revitalized and extended Bastion Defense concept. This enhances Russian ability to disrupt sea operations and project force into the Atlantic Ocean. It is important for me to say that Norway does not consider Russia a military threat today. Still we cannot discount that its military capabilities can pose a challenge to transatlantic security in the future. In other words, the strategic situation in the North Atlantic is shifting. There is a risk that we could be faced with an Anti-Access/Area Denial challenge. It is not my intention to make a “tour-de-table” of the range of security threats we are facing. I chose to focus on the threat from the southern flank of NATO and the situation in the maritime areas in the north. Not only are these two of the main priority areas for my government at the moment, but they also serve to illustrate how geographical distance is no longer a security guarantee. Developments and challenges in the North Atlantic have global consequences. Likewise, the threat from the Sothern Flank does not only affect our allies in the south. It has real security implications for all allies. In short: Countries have borders. Threats and risks do not!

Norwegian policy

So how is Norway responding to this new and changed security situation? Our policy is firmly embedded in our collective efforts in the NATO-alliance, and  will continue to rely on balancing deterrence and reassurance towards Russia. To Norway, credible deterrence means standing firm with our allies, exercising our sovereign rights, and making our strategic interests clear. We reassure through a predictable, recognizable and  non-threatening posture. The allied dimension is the cornerstone of our security strategy. Our defence concept is based on the premise of involving allies early on in an evolving crisis, and as seamlessly as possible. The United States Marine Corps has prepositioned military equipment in Norway, enabling a credible reinforcement of Europe. This is a strong and clear evidence of the American commitment to both Norwegian and European security. The recent US decisions regarding the European Re-assurance Initiative is another strong signal of US commitment to Europe. In fact, the ERI is a huge American investment in European security. This should be acknowledged more clearly. Now Europe must step up to the plate. We must invest more in our own security and ensure more balanced burden-sharing across the Atlantic. Allied military peacetime activity in Norway and the North Atlantic remains an important part of a credible and robust policy. Therefore, we would like to see a more frequent peacetime presence of Allied forces in the High North.

NATO Summit The upcoming NATO Summit in Warsaw will be an important milestone for NATO. In Warsaw, we will chart the course for the Alliance’s long-term adaptation to the new security environment. This will strengthen the 360-degree approach to Alliance security, connecting the different regions and maritime flanks of the Alliance. The maritime domain needs particular attention. NATO and its allies need to invest in high-end maritime capabilities, we need to improve command and control arrangements, and we need to update contingency plans for the maritime flanks. These are key deliverables to ensure that NATO remains politically and militarily credible. I look forward to the Warsaw Summit as yet another display of Allied unity and solidarity. The future of Norway´s  Armed Forces Back in Norway, we are in the final stages of concluding our new long-term plan for the Armed Forces. This plan will lay the foundation for the development of the Norwegian Defence force for the next four years, and point the direction 20 years into the future. As it is not yet finalized, I cannot speak about the specifics of planned acquisitions, budgets, investments or possible changes in our force structure.

However, in terms of capabilities I will say the following: We will continue to maintain and develop armed forces that contribute to situational awareness, deterrence and defense. We will be looking at replacing the ageing P-3 Maritime Patrol Aircraft Capability. We will look to replace our submarine fleet. We will continue to invest in ISR. And we will stay on course to acquire F-35s. While I am on the topic of the F-35, I would like to say a few words. This program has been more far more successful than the press would lead you to believe. With the F-35 Norway will receive a crucial cutting-edge capability that will be the backbone of our future defense forces. One of the success criteria for the program has been that it has been a true partnership between the participating nations. Close allies and partners working together through the Joint Program Office, to develop a capability that strengthens our mutual security. This is burden-sharing. This is effective cooperation. This is smart defense. And this is, to my mind, the future of large scale development projects. In terms of budgets, we are committed to the Defense Investment Pledge and to the aim of reaching the goal of 2% of GDP in the long term. 

No matter the percentage of the GDP, it will continue to be important how you actually use the funds available for defence. In 2016, Norway invest close to 26% in new technology, exceeding the 20% goal set by NATO. I am confident that the Long Term Plan will show that we are committed to continuing investing in high-end defense capabilities. We must strive to understand each other´s perspectives and assessments of the security situation. This is crucial if we are to reach the common goal we share of strengthening our industrial cooperation. A clear understanding of one another´s position, is an important starting point for the defense industry to work together in finding solutions that are mutually beneficial to our security. And to give the war fighters the tools they need. So, how can Norwegian industry and technology support our security goals and strategies, including the Third Offset Strategy.


As many of you know, most of our military hardware is Military off the Shelf (MOTS), - and much of it is made in the US. But, given our climatic and topographic challenges, hardware designed to accommodate Norwegian needs may not be readily available in the international armaments marketplace. Norway, therefore, also relies on close interaction between our Armed Forces, defense R& D communities, and industry to develop unique solutions tailored to meet specific Norwegian challenges. Norway has developed relevant strengths that are closely linked to our long and rugged coastline, our topography, our extensive maritime areas, and our harsh and demanding arctic climate Our challenging operating environment has contributed to shaping Norwegian concepts of operations, - how Armed Forces operate when they monitor and patrol our territories to uphold Norwegian sovereignty. Norwegian operational conditions have innovation and promoted engineering talent and industrial skills in our defense industry. In short – this has driven us to improve our ability to “think outside the box”. Looking at the Norwegian companies represented here today, I know that each and every one represents innovation. Norwegian defense industry develops, produces, and exports leading edge military defense technologies that meet the most demanding military standards. These include Norwegian systems like the Naval Strike Missile (NSM), the HUGIN autonomous under-water vehicles (AUVs) made by the Kongsberg Group and Kongsberg Remote Weapon Station (RWS. I also includes NAMMO, that makes rocket motors for the ESSM, IRIS-T and AMRAAM missiles. As many of you know, in the case of AMRAAM, NAMMO was able to step up and ensure security of supply, when the domestic US supplier encountered difficulties. Following yesterday´s vote in the House of Representatives, NAMMO will continue supplying the AMRAAM missile with top quality motors. One might ask how a small nation like Norway is able to do this. One clue is the close cooperation between key stakeholders in the Norwegian armaments community. This is an important element in our recently updated National Defense Industrial strategy.  The main goal of the strategy, is to sustain and strengthen an internationally competitive Norwegian defense industry. An industry capable of developing, manufacturing and supporting defense equipment and systems, within specific technology areas important to national security interests and the needs of the Norwegian armed forces. At the core of the strategy is the continuation of the close cooperation between the armed forces, the Norwegian defense research establishment and the industry. Cost-effective fulfillment of national operational requirements drives the cooperation. This triad has for decades been our framework for concept development, and the development of equipment and systems. And it has repeatedly proven its value. Norway has no ambition of having a fully-fledged national defense industry.  As a smaller nation, we have to specialize in areas where it is possible to sustain and develop capabilities over time, and to focus on technologies that support national security interests. We have to focus on technology areas where we have special requirements or where, for reasons of security of supply, there is a need to have domestic capabilities.  The strategy defines eight key technology areas. In these areas we will invest in R&D, facilitate national manufacturing, and seek international cooperation when procuring defense equipment from foreign contractors. 

The Norwegian market alone is far too small to sustain a national defense industry based on domestic demand. Hence, export potential is an important factor when deciding whether to develop new equipment and systems. Therefore, the government will continue supporting our industry in promoting their products to other nation´s armed forces, and in establishing cooperation with other nations defense industries. 

NORWEGIAN CAPABILITIES IN RELATION TO THE THIRD OFFSET STRATEGY As I pointed out earlier,  - the many challenges to our future security make it important for us to collaborate and innovate in order to stay relevant and to be at the forefront of developments. However, it is also critical to dive deeper into specific areas to address particular operational threats and military-technical challenges.  And this makes the Third Offset Strategy important for Norway. Although broad and ambitious in nature, there seems to be some specific challenges at the heart of this Strategy: • the proliferation and advancement of precision munitions • rapidly modernizing militaries • emerging operational concepts designed to counter our existing military advantages These are challenges we recognize, and that apply equally to Norway, particularly in maritime and littoral operations. Just like the US concerns related to anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) in the South China Sea, Norway has specific concerns related to possible A2/AD challenges in the North Atlantic. Sharing similar challenges, it would make sense to cooperate on how to address them, - and finding ways to share our respective key technologies, - be it undersea technology, mine warfare or advanced missiles. Therefore I find it promising that The Third Offset Strategy also has implications for partners and allies. Not only does it rely on outreach to civilian communities. It also looks to NATO and partner nations to find existing and developing technologies to address current and future challenges. In Norway, we are already developing technologies and concepts of operation in order to start addressing some of the challenges we have in common. These technologies are often the result of a difficult operating environment and the need to use technology as a multiplier. Norwegian efforts to develop one of the world’s first unmanned underwater/surface mine countermeasure systems – is one example of this. In this work, autonomy, robotics and HMI drive capability both in the underwater (AUV/UUV) and surface segments (USV). Another example is the Naval Strike Missile, a unique fifth generation anti-ship missile, capable of operating in harsh conditions and terrain. The Naval Strike missile is a proven system that is already in service, and is currently being evaluated by the US Navy. And, those of you who have read Singer´s and Cole´s novel Ghost Fleet, will have noted their description of the NSM (or the Puffin) as used in combat by the USS Zumwalt. Seems promising!  This missile will soon be followed by the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) designed for the F-35, and based on the same technology as the NSM.  The JSM is now in the final stages of development following a 4 billion NOK development effort. It is my belief that the Joint Strike Missile too, will be a future success. In my opinion, these, and other, Norwegian systems are tailored to meet some of the challenges of the Third Offset Strategy. They are here and now, - they are ready to be used, - or to be modified or repurposed to the specific needs of the US Armed Forces. Making use of some of the Norwegian concepts and capabilities can help allies, including the United States, adapt more quickly, while also supporting further innovation by Norwegian defense and defense industry. In the end, this could enable us carrying a larger part of the development burden. Moving on, we need to facilitate closer cooperation between our R&D communities and our defense industries, - both to adapt and further develop existing technologies. It may also require that hurdles to necessary information exchange and cooperation are eliminated or reduced, - including potential obstacles stemming from export control regulations or acquisition practices that prevent US sourcing abroad. The examples that I just provided illustrate that Norway has proven competence, as well as promising ideas and technologies that warrant due consideration. As evidenced by this conference, our defense industry, supported by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment are both able and willing to support the Third Offset Strategy. Whether we are looking at operational challenges or need for technological innovation to counter future threats, I strongly believe enhanced cooperation is the answer – and the future. We all have limited resources, and others will no doubt continue to play catch-up. It would therefore be prudent to cut cost and save time by avoiding lengthy development, wherever possible. Avoiding costly duplication of effort is common sense. It promotes interoperability. And it is Smart Defence, not least seen against the backdrop of increasing technological interdependency.   

Now, more than ever, our combined resources need to be used as efficiently as possible. This is necessary both in order to strengthen operational effectiveness and increase our collective security. In the invitation to this conference the organisers assert that partner nations’ defence industrial bases is an under-utilized source of innovation. Let’s all work together to prove them wrong. It is no doubt in my mind, that no matter whether we are big or small - we are always stronger together! I thank you for your attention.