International demand for F-35 planned to increase

WASHINGTON, D.C., 14 March 2006. Gen. T. Michael "Buzz" Moseley, Air Force chief of staff, revealed in an interview Friday that he anticipates a strong demand from foreign governments for the new F-35 joint strike fighter, which is built by Lockheed Martin Corp. in Fort Worth, Texas.

WASHINGTON, D.C., 14 March 2006. Gen. T. Michael "Buzz" Moseley, Air Force chief of staff, revealed in an interview Friday that he anticipates a strong demand from foreign governments for the new F-35 joint strike fighter, which is built by Lockheed Martin Corp. in Fort Worth, Texas.

The U.S. Air Force is slated to received 1,763 of the aircraft. The Air Force version of the multi-service plane will include the letter "A."

Foreign air forces boast roughly 4,500 old F-4 Phantoms, F-16 Fighting Falcons, and other U.S.-built planes in need of replacement, according to Moseley. He predicts that many of those forces will want the F-35.

The F-35 is scheduled to make its first flight this fall. First deliveries to the U.S. armed forces are slated to begin in 2009. Alternatively, the Marines, Navy, and Air Force are slated to employ the F-35 in 2012 or 2013.

The price per F-35 Air Force version is roughly $45 million, and $60 million for the Marine Corps and Navy versions, says a Lockheed spokesman.

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