WASHINGTON U.S. allies are lining up for the next phase of the U.S. Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.
The Pentagon said Tuesday (Dec. 12) that the U.K. Ministry of Defence has become the latest nation to sign up for the development and production phases of the JSF program, billed as the largest ever U.S. weapon acquisition program.
The U.K. will contibute more than $2 billion to the next development phase of the program, dubbed F-35, which is designed to develop a multirole fighter for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The defense ministry plans to buy 150 short take-off and vertical landing versions of the the F-35.
Canada signed up for the production phase of the JSF program on Monday (Dec. 11), and will contribute $150 million to the program's first development phase. Australia also signed an agreement this week, joining the Netherlands.
DoD said it expects Denmark, Italy, Norway and Turkey to join the next phase of JSF development, which is designed to take the program from its demonstration to production phases.
Lockheed Martin Corp. (Bethesda, Md.) is the prime contractor for the F-35 program.