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Australia to buy 58 US F-35s for $11.6bn

This undated image obtained on April 22, 2009 courtesy of the Joint Strike Fighter program site, shows the F-35 JSFAustralia will purchase 58 more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at a cost of Aus$12.4 billion ($11.6 billion), the government said. The new aircraft will bring Australia’s total JSF force to 72 aircraft, with the first due to arrive in Australia in 2018 and enter service in 2020. “The F-35 will provide a major boost to the Australian Defence Force’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a statement released late Tuesday. The deal is in addition to 14 F-35s Australia already approved in 2009.

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