28 Apr '14, 4pm

Australian Buy Comes at Key Time for F-35 Program

Australian Buy Comes at Key Time for F-35 Program

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, AND WASHINGTON — When Australia announced it would purchase 58 F-35A joint strike fighters last week, it agreed to the single largest batch of F-35s acquired by an international partner to date — an important milestone for a program that appears headed to smaller domestic buys than planned. The deal, worth AUS $12.4 billion (US $11.5 billion), also is one of the largest purchases of defense equipment in Australian history. The latest batch is in addition to the purchase of 14 of the stealth jets previously approved by the Australian government, bringing the total order to 72 aircraft, enough to completely replace the country’s Boeing F/A-18A/B Hornets. Australia has a total requirement of up to 100 F-35As. The large order is helpful to the F-35 program, which recently had to push some US procurement out to the future. “The US ramp-up is a small part o...

Full article: http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140428/DEFREG03/3042...

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