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Monday, 30 September, 2002, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
UK to buy 150 fighter planes
An F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
The contract is "good news for British industry"
The UK Government has said it will buy 150 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft for its naval and air forces.


This is a very positive decision by the UK Government

John Rose
Rolls-Royce
The 10bn ($15.6bn) deal will benefit both US and UK companies.

The government said that it had selected the short take-off version of the warplane.

The US defence contractor Lockheed Martin is behind the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is the biggest warplane project in history.

Defence procurement minister Lord Bach said the announcement was "very good news" for British industry because the planes would be built in part by Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Smiths Group.

'Significant opportunities'

Rolls-Royce said on Monday that it expected to earn $3 billion making short take-off and vertical-landing technology for the US and British warplanes.

The company said the 150 aircraft bought by Britain would bring total British and US orders of the warplanes to 750.

"This is a very positive decision by the UK government which opens up significant opportunities for Rolls-Royce and its many suppliers," Rolls-Royce Chief Executive John Rose said in a statement.

The F-35 will replace the Royal Navy's Harrier Jump Jets.

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The BBC's Jonathan Marcus
"Both ships will be built and designed in Britain"
See also:

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17 Jan 01 | Business
22 Jun 01 | UK
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