The European allies have to build up their defence forces against a strengthening Russia.
According to Reuters, Director, Joint Strike Fighter Program, Vice Admiral Mathias W. “Mat” Winter, told U.S. lawmakers that “future potential Foreign Military Sales customers for the F-35 include Singapore, Greece, Romania, Spain and Poland.”
This consideration is made because the European allies have to build up their defence forces against a strengthening Russia. This will probably result in an offer to those countries. Currently these four countries are in need of new fighter aircraft.
Another country that is currently a sales target for the F-35 is Singapore. In January 2019, the Singaporean Ministry of Defence announced that it saw the F-35 as the most suitable replacement for its ageing F-16s.
Noteworthy, news of the new customers coincides with U.S. tension with F-35 development partner Turkey over Ankara’s plans to buy S-400 Russian missile defence system.
Other U.S. allies have been eyeing a purchase of the stealthy jet including Finland, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
Last year, Belgium was the first new customer for the F-35 in years, choosing it over the Eurofighter Typhoon to replace its ageing F-16s.
Lockheed Martin developed three variants of Joint Strike Fighter variants: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, the F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant, and the F-35C carrier-based Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) variant.
The U.S. 10 other countries have signed up to buy the jets: Britain, Australia, Italy, Turkey, Norway, the Netherlands, Israel, Japan, South Korea and Belgium.
Photo credit: U.S. Air Force
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com