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Blighty's buying another 17 F-35s, confirms the American government

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The UK will buy a grand total of 17 F-35B fighter jets between 2020 and 2022 – and acquiring the A model of the supersonic stealth fighter hasn’t been ruled out.

The American government announced on Wednesday the awarding of F-35 production lots 12, 13 and 14 to Lockheed Martin. A legal formality, the class justification and approval document (available here) also discloses how many aircraft each customer nation will receive.

Between January and December 2020 the Royal Navy will receive three F-35Bs, with this number rising to six more being handed over in 2021 and eight in 2022. The approval doc added that these could be “other such quantities or variants as may be authorised by the Ministry of Defence.”

Last year the then-Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriet Baldwin, confirmed that no decision had yet been made by the government on whether it would stick to the planned B model or mix it up with a purchase of F-35As. She said:

“Decisions on the precise details of...(continued)

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