Yesterday The Inquisitr reported about Canada being added to the list of countries that are planning to buy the F-35 Fighter Jet built by Lockheed Martin Corp. While the plan to buy as many as 65 F-35 fighter jets from the US has drawn the ire of Canadian lawmakers, it is in all likelihood going ahead with the $8.22 billion purchase. Are other countries planning to buy F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin in the coming years?
Here’s a list of United States allies that have committed to buying the advanced F-35 fighter jet that is slated to replace the existing fleet of F-16’s and F/A-18s, as reported by Reuters. The list has been compiled from data provided by Lockheed Martin themselves.
Britain’s Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy were a part of the F-35 fighter jet program since its initial days and have been a primary investor as well. With the nation having invested over $2 billion in the project, it is set to be a primary customer and is likely to buy a total of 138 F-35 B-models. In fact, they have already received three F-35 Fighters. Britain has committed to purchasing 48 planes, followed by 14 more next year.
The country’s state-owned defense company Finmeccanica happens to be a sub-contractor for the F-35 Fighter Jet project. Italy had earlier decided upon 131 F-35 fighter jets but has since then cut down its orders to 90. Also worth noting is the fact that Italy will assemble its F-35s at a facility in the country itself.
Like the Italians, the Dutch military too seems to have cut down on its F-35 purchase plans. Originally expected to buy as many as 85 F-35 fighter jets, the country late last year announced that it would be managing only with 37 jets as of now. Two F35s have already been delivered to them.
Another key ally of the United States and also a partner in the development of the F-35 fighter jet is Australia, which has in all plans to buy 100 F-35As. None of the planes have been delivered to them yet — but deliveries should start later this year. Australia previously announced that it plans to increase the number of planes they intend to purchase.
Turkey might be facing lots of internal turmoil right now, but that hasn’t changed any of its plans to buy as many as a 100 F-35As from the United States. In fact, the orders for the first two jets of the lot have recently been placed.
The Scandinavian country of Norway authorized the purchase of 16 F-35 fighter jets initially. In all, the country aims to have a fleet of 52 F-35As in its arsenal soon.
Another Scandinavian country involved in the F-35 fighter jet program was Denmark. They had initially committed to buy 30 planes from Lockheed Martin but have since then decided to stay on standby mode until they decide in 2015 whether or not to proceed with the purchase.
The United States’ long term ally Israel plans to order 75 F-35 fighter jets in the years to come. For now though, the country has ordered 19 jets. This very year, a second order would add a few more jets to Israel’s arsenal.
Back in December 2011, Japan announced that it would be ordering 42 units of the F-35 fighter jet. That decision hasn’t changed yet. It is likely that they will increase the number of F-35 orders in the years to come. In fact, Japan is also in the process of building an assembly and checkout plant for the F-35s.
In a move to replace its existing fleet of F-4 aircrafts and to bolster its air defense capabilities, South Korea has planned to buy 40 F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin.
Apart from all these, the main consumer for the F-35 fighter jet would of course be used by the United States itself. By the end of 2037, the US Air Force have a fleet of 1,763 F-35 conventional landing A-models. The US Navy will have 260 F-35s wile the US Marine Corps plans to get 340 F-35 B-models, which is famous for its vertical takeoff abilities.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]