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Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Australia joins US fighter project
Australia has announced it is joining a programme led by the United States to develop a new supersonic jet fighter aircraft.

The defence minister, Robert Hill, said over the next 10 years Canberra would invest $150m (A$300m) in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

He said the Australian military would buy up to 100 of the aircraft, which will use stealth technology to avoid detection by radar.

He said the benefits to Australia's aerospace industry would more than match the investment.

The project has an estimated total cost of $200bn. A number of US allies, including the UK, have already joined the programme.

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