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The F-35 began as the Joint Strike Fighter program – an effort to create an exportable 5th Generation fighter with three variants and nine partner countries. The partners contributed to development of the requirements, design and test program, drawing on the aerospace expertise of a global network of allies. The aircraft is now in production, with companies around the world building components and support equipment, international jets rolling off the production line, and new Foreign Military Sales customers selecting the F-35 for their armed forces. The global vision of the Joint Strike Fighter program is coming to life in the F-35 Lightning II.
The F-35’s nine partner countries are Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. Suppliers in all the partner countries are producing F-35 components for all aircraft, not just those for their country. Many partners have ordered their first aircraft, and pilots and maintainers from the United Kingdom took delivery of their first F-35B jets at Eglin Air Force Base, where they are training with their U.S. counterparts.
Israel and Japan both selected the F-35A through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process, and the Republic of Korea is also considering joining the global F-35 network with the F-X III competition. Companies in FMS customer countries compete for industrial participation opportunities of the F-35 program.
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