Wednesday, July 18, 2012 | | By: Febi

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: Panetta Lauds First International F-35 Delivery To UK

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: Panetta Lauds First International F-35 Delivery To UK

(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - July 18, 2012: After a meeting this morning with the United Kingdom’s top defense official, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta lauded an important milestone in the U.S.-U.K. defense relationship.

Tomorrow in Fort Worth, Texas, British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond will take the first international delivery of an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Panetta told reporters at a Pentagon news conference alongside his British counterpart.

“The United Kingdom was the first partner nation to join the F-35 program and has been a tremendous partner throughout the development, testing, and the initial production,” the secretary added.

Hammond, who joined Panetta for a working breakfast, said, “I look forward to seeing [the supersonic stealth fighter] in operation later on today at [Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland] and then picking up our first test aircraft tomorrow … at Fort Worth.”

The aircraft’s multiyear system development and demonstration period involves development and testing of the entire aircraft system, including its manufacture.

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