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Lockheed Martin Handing Jet Over To UK

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Just weeks after ending a lengthy employee strike, Lockheed Martin is making a big handoff. Representatives from the United Kingdom will be in Fort Worth on Thursday to take possession of the country’s first F-35 jet from the government contractor. That stealth fighter went into production in 2006 at the Naval Joint Reserve Base.

This marks the first international sale of the F-35 jet. The United States and United Kingdom are just two of several NATO nations buying jets from Lockheed Martin.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called the sale of this fighter aircraft a big step toward the two countries working together to maintain a strong defense. Panetta said that efforts will be made to keep costs of the plane down. “The United Kingdom was the first partner nation to join the F-35 program,” Panetta explained, “and has been a tremendous partner throughout the development, the testing, and the initial production.”

For Lockheed Martin, the delivery of the F-35 represents strength and resolution, as the defense contractor aims to get things back to normal after ending a strike with machinists.

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