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Pentagon Buys 13 Additional Lockheed Martin F-35 Jets

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The Pentagon and the US manufacturer Lockheed Martin signed a $1.3-billion contract for the 13 additional F-35 fighters.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Pentagon and the US manufacturer Lockheed Martin signed a $1.3-billion contract for the 13 additional F-35 fighters to be delivered to the US military, local media reported, citing authorities.

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The money will go toward adding the 13 F-35s into the production schedule of the other aircraft appropriated by the Pentagon this fiscal year, the Defense News media outlet reported. The deal reportedly includes three Air Force F-35As, six Marine Corps F-35Bs, and four Navy F-35Cs to be completed in December 2019.

The F-35 fighter will be the most expensive military aircraft ever developed, with an estimated final cost of $400 billion, twice the original estimate. It will also be the most advanced, combining radar-evading and radar-jamming capabilities, supersonic speed, tight manoeuvring and a helmet that gives pilots 360-degree vision.

According to the proposed Defense Department budget for 2016, the US Air Force is expected to purchase 44 F-35 jets this fiscal year, 48 in 2017 and 60 each year from 2018 through 2020.

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