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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 April 2007, 08:39 GMT 09:39 UK
Fighter jets in handover ceremony
Joint Strike Fighter
Britain plans to take delivery of 138 Joint Strike Fighters
A ceremony to mark the latest stage in the manufacturing of the world's most costly military aircraft project, the F-35, is taking place in Lancashire.

BAE Systems is to hand over the jet aft fuselage to customers Lockheed Martin in a ceremony at the Salmesbury plant.

The aft fuselage for the first Short Take Off and Vertical Landing variant of the F-35 Lightning II represents a BAE Systems contract worth 1.3bn.

The 140bn Anglo-American project will supply jets to a number of countries.

The UK is expected to take delivery of 138 fighters and the US is planning to have 2,400 jets in service by 2027.

A jump-jet version of the F-35 will be deployed by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy.

Along with the US and Britain, the F-35 is being co-financed by Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Turkey.

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