Lockheed says global demand for the F-35 is still strong despite US Air Force not being sure about buying plans

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As the US Air Force’s promise to buy 1,783 F-35A Lightning IIs goes from “guaranteed” to “maybe,” the folks at Lockheed-Martin aren’t terribly worried.

Despite the potential of losing a considerable order of aircraft specific to the United States Air Force, the aerospace-defense giant is confident that the international demand for the jet will grow.

“We really haven’t seen any sort of diminishing interest,” Bridget Lauderdale told reporters during a June 10 visit to Lockheed’s F-35 production line in Fort Worth, Texas. “As the jet performs -and frankly as, for example, our European partners are able to operate together and see the power and the strength of the capabilities on the platform and particularly as they are interoperating in their missions- we are seeing a stronger conviction around what this means to the security of their individual nations and to the effectiveness of the alliances.”

According to Defense News, who admitted to receiving travel and lodging accommodations from Lockheed-Martin, Lauderdale is the new head of the aircraft program.

“I would say the airplane is doing its job and selling itself,” she said, pointing out that the F-35 is participating in a number of foreign air force fighter competitions and adding that the plane is “very hard to beat.”

While the F-35 was initially deemed a “low-cost” fighter with the introduction of the X-35, the F-35 program has spanned over two decades and will likely cost around $1.7 trillion when all is said and done.

While the F-35 was initially deemed a “low-cost” fighter with the introduction of the X-35, the F-35 program has spanned over two decades and will likely cost around $1.7 trillion when all is said and done.

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