Norwegian defense firms strengthen footing in U.S. market

April 11, 2024 | By Sindy Yeh


Last Thursday, April 4, Rosslyn hosted the 10th Annual Norwegian-American Defense Conference at the House of the Norwegian-American Defense and Homeland Security Industry Council (NADIC).

This event not only marked a significant milestone in transatlantic relations but also underscored the escalating presence of Norwegian defense enterprises in the U.S. market amidst mounting global security challenges

The conference theme, “Industry as Deterrence,” held particular significance as it coincided with the 75th anniversary of the signing of NATO in Washington, D.C., on April 4, 1949. Norway, as one of the 12 founding members of the alliance, remains steadfast in its commitment as a key ally and partner to the United States.

This dynamic presents substantial opportunities for the defense industries of both nations. With Norway relying on imports for approximately 70% of its defense equipment, U.S. firms are strategically positioned to secure a considerable portion of Norwegian defense imports. Ambassador of Norway to the U.S., H.E. Anniken R. Krutnes, highlighted this, noting Norway’s plans to increase defense spending to 2% of GDP by 2026, emphasizing Norway’s exemption from “Buy America” provisions.

Throughout the conference, governmental officials from both the U.S. and Norway outlined policies, funding priorities, and collaborative areas within the defense sectors. Industry leaders shared insights into business engagement strategies and successful approaches to interfacing with the U.S. Department of Defense.

Given the region’s strategic location, it is no surprise that Norway’s two largest defense contractors have both selected Northern Virginia to base their U.S. operations, with Kongsberg Group in Alexandria and Nammo in Arlington. Nammo’s President and CEO, Morten Brandtzaeg, mentioned that the company is very pleased with its office location in Courthouse, as it is easy for the company to engage with its industry partners, such as RTX and Kongsberg, as well as Pentagon officials.

Heather Armentrout, President of Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace USA, advised Norwegian companies on the importance of establishing local partnerships and presence to navigate the U.S. market successfully. The House of NADIC in Rosslyn serves as an ideal entry point for Norwegian firms, offering office and meeting spaces, alongside invaluable connections, expertise, and opportunities for engagement.

According to the NADIC website, the organization’s objective is to, “develop and strengthen cooperation between Norwegian and American industries, continuously search for opportunities, and facilitate stronger bilateral ties, while encouraging a fair competitive environment in the U.S. market.” The organization represents 90% of the Norwegian defense and industrial base, and this annual conference has become one of the most important bilateral defense summits between the two nations.